Does "fake it till you make it" work in a Technical Interview?

Published: 2 Sep 2018 | Last updated 5 September 2018

Preparing for an interview often feels like getting ready for a stage performance. It's enticing to change yourself into the individual that you think the employer needs you to be—regardless of whether that persona really fits with yours or not.

Let’s assume, you’ve already made it to the interview stage of a job application, that means your potential employer has already scrutinized your cover letter and resume from their general pool of candidates. The next step is creating a positive first impression when you meet in person. This is a crucial step that could be won or lost in the first few minutes. Of course faking your looks and appearance must work in serving first impression; research tells us that people tend to make a judgment about you during the first 30 seconds of meeting you. First impressions are important, and as the saying goes, you only get one opportunity to make one. But that’s no reason to fear them. During this time, you are assessed on your appearance, dress-up, gait, mannerisms and body language. Knowing and acting on what is shown to work to create better first impressions will help you do just that.

But what’s the best way to sell yourself as “the purple squirrel”, especially when the “real you” is a little bit laid-back for the corporate world?

You put on those neatly-pressed formals that you barely wear, skim through your answers to some commonly asked interview questions, and browse through your friendly—yet professional—dialogues in the bathroom mirror. You have a job interview today, and you’re determined to score a bull’s eye there.
People tend to over-prepare non-contextual things. The main problem is they don't have the foggiest idea about what they will be asked. So when you don't have a clue about what will come up, you get anxious and you over-prepare and that nearly opens up the apprehension and it turns into a considerably more uneasy circumstance.

You need to ‘be yourself’ when you deliberately share your views and enthusiasm with the interviewer on your prospective job. They are well experienced and of course they have an experience of interviewing more candidates in total than the number of interviews you have appeared for as a whole. Fake it till you make it doesn’t work every time with anyone. 

When you want to succeed, conveying confidence is key and let’s face it—job interviews can be incredibly stressful. And, it’s not always easy to make up for those jitters and anxiety as confidence and competence.

It is best to be yourself. But, there’s a fine line between “being yourself” and being “business appropriate.” If you gobble up every interview advice out there in the market and possibly try running through every possible interview question in your head, your so-called preparedness is very likely going to masquerade what should you be your strongest selling point: you.

You need to be ready to talk intelligently about some of your accomplishments, the things that demonstrate your value. So identify several of your strengths and figure out specific examples of work you've done that highlights those strengths.

You don't have to prepare a speech, just have the facts in your head so you can draw from that knowledge over the course of the interview.

It is best to speak honestly about yourself and what you want from a job. Trustworthiness will likewise make a superior match between you and your new organization. What's the feeling of faking it through a progression of prospective employee meet-ups, just to take a job you don't care for or that doesn’t fall inline with your expectations? You'll simply end up repeating the entire procedure as you search for yet another job!

If you want to end up in the right job; it’s essential that you are being yourself. If you act a character in the interview and they give you the job, you’ll need to maintain that character everyday - and you can’t! It won’t be the right job for the “real you”.

I remember one incident in college, when we were appearing for a series of interviews every week.  Most of my classmates were placed in some or the other companies, unlike me. It was overwhelming and at the same time heartbreaking for me. The fear of missing out was slowly encrusting me and I had to do something to at least secure one job from my campus placement drive.

 I finally had a shot with one of the reputed companies and like everyone, I started off by faking my skills. Although my confidence was as flat as a pancake, I pulled off another fake session answering all the questions with relatively greater vision that I was actually capable of. And to my surprise, I scored that job.”

The tables turned when I was looked upon as most reliable and competent employee in the office. But soon, this notion bailed on me when I was asked to work on a project that was related to a project I formerly worked on in my college. I was all cold feet and you could clearly see beads of sweat if you were there. I apparently faked so many things during the interview and this project being one of them. I couldn’t bear the humility of my hiring manager who entrusted me on the basis of my interview and for believing in my false hopes. I was now working extra hours in order to complete the work that was actually not my strong suit. After a month of fighting for survival, I finally left the company with a bitter yet empirical life lesson.

 For the next two months, I just went for ‘Walk-in’ interviews. The experience was unprecedented. To my surprise, I was able to get more offer letters in my inbox during this time. The only difference I incorporated was - ‘being transparent and honest’ to my interviewers, than being imperial.

Resource managers need trustworthy, competent, and committed employees who are easy to manage. In other words, they hire people that they like – so leave them with a strong positive impression through these four easy pointers.

Knowledge is power - Do your research. Google is your friend. The more you know about the company and the position in question, the better off you’ll be.

Dress to impress - This rule not only works on the interviewers, but you as well. If you look good, you feel good too, and it boosts your confidence. 

Ask questions - You must have your OWN questions ready for the interviewer. This exudes confidence and you have a  Brownie point there!

Give Yourself a Friendly Reminder - a job interview isn’t an interrogation. While it might not always feel like it, that hiring manager or interviewer is really on your team. His or her goal is to find the very best fit for that open position—and he or she is definitely hoping that’s you!

Representing yourself for who you really are is how what you are looking for finds you.

Interview is a process for the person being interviewed, not the interviewer. They are designed for you to find a job that’s right for you. And that is the point of interviews.

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