Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pretence doesnít pay in an interview
I.M. Soni

One mistake young aspirants for jobs commit is that they assume a role at the cost of their original self. Some ape their role models. They expose themselves, become vulnerable, and get rejected. Employers look out for genuines, not fakes.

Not to be your own self is to expose yourself to wrong evaluation, even misunderstanding. This will eventually lead to dissatisfaction. Yet, many eager and enthusiastic ones make the mistake of deluding themselves that they are different from others.

Having given a wrong impression, they are afraid to be honest because they think that the employer will begin to like the shadow in place of the substance.

Pretension plays you down, not up. You play yourself up because you think you do not possess a particular quality. You lie that you are a voracious reader of books because you are not, but should be. Hence the false claim. You expose yourself because you fail to live up to your lie.

You act tough. This is a defensive reaction of a touchy person who is trying to avoid being hurt. It can also be a guise assumed when you know that you are really prone to letting others influence you to an unpractical extent.

It goes against you at the interview. Act natural. The employer is looking for a human being, not a robot.

Watch that you do not overdo it. If you do, you can run into trouble and damage your claim far more than if you had remained your natural self.

Pretending to be a walking encyclopaedia? The interviewer soon discovers your bottomline, and begins to discount much of what you say.

You are like the magicianís understudy who thinks he knows all his masterís tricks but, in reality, is ignorant whether he plays a particular trick with the right or left hand!

Another slippery area is of name-dropping. You can pretend that you know everybody of any importance in the organisation.

This method of trying to impress a prospective employer defeats its own purpose. No employer likes to have a fresher who is fond of throwing his weight about.

Faking interest in things and people is bound to recoil on you. Genuine interest shows itself naturally. It requires no effort.

Showing artificial interest in cricket because it is a national craze means an invitation to others to puncture your balloon. Using catch words and terminology of a particular discipline is like looking at your wrist watch merely to show that you are wearing one.

The greatest drawback of trying to be someone else is that it shows you as having a split personality. This may come about because of your intense desire to please others, or to avoid their critical, stern gaze. You are feverishly trying to win their approval. You are desperate to conceal your blind spots. You are being less than honest.

You also give the impression of being a person who thinks afterwards about what he should have said, but who is incapable of saying or doing it at the appropriate moment.