Debunking The Common Job Interview Fibs

Interview is one of the most nerve-wrecking experience in the job seeking process. It’s the decisive factor whether or not you’re going to receive monthly payroll to pay the bills. With more and more working age youngsters graduating from college, it’s getting harder to find a suitable job that satisfy both their pocket and ego. It’s only normal that people prepare so much for this stage.

We all know the drill of a job interview. Arrive on time, prepare answer for your own SWOT analysis and give a firm handshake. The waiting room is full of job seekers in fifty shades of blue shirt because everyone reads the same Forbes articles that says it shows ‘trustworthiness, professionalism and credibility’.

But how much of these interview tips are true?

To avoid getting trapped in conformity, I talked to one of our senior at Catalyst Strategy who happens to be a bit of an expert in job interviews. Our connoisseur has been through quite a lot of interviews with media companies, creative agencies, corporates and startups. With more experience than anybody in the office, he shared his point of view as an interviewee about some of the most common beliefs and practices that turn out to be total bullcrap.

1. Interview is more than a sales pitch.

For those who have had job interviews, it’s almost inevitable to feel like you’re selling yourself. You pitch your skills to the potential ‘buyer’ through a few set of crafted lines and decorated resume. If they like you, they’ll ‘buy’ you. If not, you pitch yourself to another ‘buyer’.

But isn’t it such a sad way to see yourselves?

In most countries, the education system has shifted its purpose to a factory of workers. The short unemployment period gap became their selling point and they pride themselves with the fact that their graduates were hired even before graduation.

College graduates are then reduced to indispensable salary men and women.

Our interview connoisseur realises this after a few rejections as a fresh grad. Instead of thinking as a person who seeks, he started thinking as someone who offers. He sees himself as an asset that the company needs to increase their economic value. He came into the interview room not as a person who plead for a job opportunity, but as someone who offers a mutualistic symbiosis with the future employer. In changing his perspective about himself, he feels a significant increase in his self worth and in turn lets his confidence shines through.

2. It’s not even an interview. It’s a conversation.

Often times people came into the interview room with a sense of inferiority. You see yourself as someone who is going to be questioned. You have it all planned out, how you’re going to tell the interviewer of who you are.

But you got it all wrong.

After some trial and error, our expert realises the key point to ace an interview is just to forget that it’s an interview at all. It’s more of a conversation.

Assuming you have now changed your perspective as an asset, you have just level yourself with your future employer. People of the same level converse more casually. Making a job interview conversational offers some great benefits: (1) They can see your confidence and your persona better than when your energy is weaker. (2) You have the opportunity to dig deeper about the company you’re about to work for. Being in a conversation makes it easier for both parties to get the information needed for the next stage of job application.

3. Practice does not make perfect.

Most job interview tips will tell you to practice in front of the mirror the night before or even one hour before you came into the interview room.

Well, our expert says don’t!

Too much practicing will give you an overly polished persona. And that’s exactly what will hinder you from getting a job. Interviewers, especially in startups and creative industry companies, are tired of cookie-cutter answer from a person who is so well guarded.

Let them see you. Trying too hard to be perfect on paper and at interviews also counts as lies because you can’t keep up with that. It’s better for the company to know who they’re hiring rather than regretting their decision once you make a mistake.

4. Research the right things

This one might not be as common as the other tips, but some people put so much effort in researching (stalking) their interviewer. You might know that 25 people endorsed your future boss for her ‘Public Speaking’ skills on LinkedIn or where did she went to during her holiday in Morocco last year from Instagram, but it’s not important.

When it comes to researching for a job interview, it’s important focus on the company. You don’t need to have in-depth knowledge about your interviewer in front of you, but it’s beneficial to know everything to the T about the company you’re applying for. In fact, 47% people failed their interview because they do not have enough knowledge about the company they’re applying for[1]. Fill yourself with important information that matters.

In the end, what really will help you is your authenticity. The job seeking process is tedious but it takes effort to find a good one. You most probably will fail at several interviews and got rejected by potential dream jobs, but you’ll find your fit eventually. Do not settle for less because you think you don’t deserve anything more than good.

At Catalyst Strategy, we believe that working is so much more than making money to answer our physical demands, but also doing things that fulfill our mental needs. We want people to know that it’s okay to be human and have their own imperfections. Preparing for job interview is good, but do not let your preparation and prejudgment cloud the distinguishing aspect that makes you you. We wish you good luck for your next interview!

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