Great discussion last Friday on a variety of topics. For the second straight week, it got a little philosophical. We talked and debated on the "psychology" of interviewing, we toyed with the idea of pursuing something “different,” and we discussed the “over/under-qualified” conundrum.
Do we try to modify our behavior and personalities at all to give us any sort of advantage while moving through the interview process?
Or, do we stay 'true' to ourselves? Knowing that if you've been asked to come in for an interview, most likely the hiring company / manager believes you can do the job, and at that point, it becomes more of a test of fit. So, why would you want to portray yourself as anything other than your true self?
My personal take... The interview process is already a somewhat unnatural occurrence. (When was the last time a client or manager has asked you to tell them about a scenario where you had to deal with adversity and to provide a specific example of how you overcame that dilemma??) Given that, I don't believe it's wrong to use what you know or have been told can help add to your competitive advantage over other candidates or to help mask a particular, perceived weakness.
Now, I'm not saying to be someone you're not - because, in the end, it is about fit and culture. It's subjective. There's no way around that, and any little nuance can be analyzed, misinterpreted, or used to compare you to the next person about to walk in through the door.
The group's take? Be yourself, but be aware of what the company is looking for and how you can fit within their culture.
Nobody wants to be surprised.