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How much of your personality should you show during an interview?

Office Hours #3: All About Interviews: The STAR Method with Judy Park

This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was job interviews. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!

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Judy Park's answer: This is a great question! I think a lot of companies nowadays are promoting authenticity. Show up to work the way you are. However, there are still some who think you need to put on a corporate mask or to act a certain way during your interview. Let your personality shine through as long as it is respectful, professional, and necessary. Remember that you're still competing against other applicants, so keep that in mind. Maintain your energy and your sense of humor, as long as it's done respectfully! CV Office Hours .
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Alyssa’s Answer

I think the most important thing in an interview is to be yourself ! If you are concealing yourself and trying to be too stern, it may be uncomfortable both for you and for the interviewer. Of COURSE the content of your answers matter, but the vibe that you give off is very important too. People want to work with people who they enjoy being around! Now this doesn't mean that slacking off while being a goof is the best way to seal a job, but remember this; everybody is JUST A PERSON. Even the CEO of a big business is only human. We all have personality quirks, and if the interviewer seems friendly, don't be afraid to show it!
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Christopher’s Answer

I have been conducting Interviews for 9 years. One thing that is very important on any interview is to be yourself. Show them yourself on your best day, but they will need to see that you have a fun energy that you bring to the company. So in short, show them as much personality as you can. Your personality can still be professional!
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Dawnyale’s Answer

Most employers want to know who you are as it relates to the job you're applying for. It's important to consider what parts of your personality match with the job and showcase those in the interview. For example, if you're applying to be a librarian but make it clear that you prefer watching TV over reading, that may not end well for you. Similarly, if you're applying to be a teacher but have trouble overcoming shyness in the interview, that may make the interviewer believe you're not a good fit.

Regardless of the position, it's important to be professional, courteous and honest - these are soft skills that are difficult to teach, but valuable in any company. However, showcasing a piece of your personality allows you to take comfort in knowing that you are being selected for who you authentically are and what you bring to the position. I would show just enough of your personality for your interviewer to feel a connection between you, the company and the job. Remember that it is an interview and the hiring manager wants to find someone who is foremost a great fit for their team and the position. Do your due diligence and research the company and team culture beforehand so that you can have an idea of what the desired work atmosphere is so that you'll know what personality types tend to perform well in the role and that should tell you a lot about whether or not this is the job for you.

Good luck to you!
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Kim’s Answer

The usual advice is to let the interviewer(s) set the tone. But, sometimes you just have to take chances!
True story.

I interviewed for a civilian position with the state highway patrol. It was a 5-person panel interview. The very first thing they did was require us to lift up a box of copier paper off the floor and set it back down. That was their way of seeing if we could meet the physical requirements of the position. I can't squat, and have totally improper lifting technique. Thankfully, the box had no lid on it. I grabbed it from the top edges, tossed it up in the air to get my hands under it, and, totally unexpectedly said "this doesn't wiggle nearly as much as my dog!" They loved it! I ended up the top candidate for both cities they were interviewing for!

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