If you ever tell anyone you're an HR Manager invariably you will have someone e-mail you or ask you to "look at my resume" or "can you fix my cover letter" or "any tips for my interview"...
It's this last one I'd like to focus on.
Folks are shocked when my first recommendation for interviews is two words - be honest. Sometimes I get a scrunched forehead, a small snicker, or just a plain wide-eyed "deer in headlights" look. As if "being honest" is a foreign thing to most interviewees.
Allow me to elaborate.
Interviewing is an opportunity for a business to meet a potential employee. When they scan through resumes, make phone calls, and ultimately give you that great call (or e-mail) they are doing it with the sole purpose of meeting you. Why would you show up as someone different?
Honesty in interviewing is always my biggest advice and my largest complaint. Many times applicants feel the need to change personality to "nail the interview" and I fear this is to everyone's detriment. Not only is there a drastic personality change but also an omission of truth or the exaggeration of fact.
Be brave, applicants! Telling an employer that you much prefer a "flexible work schedule" or that you "can't stand clerical work" isn't a bad thing. Why lie to the interviewer and then end up months down the road with strict, unwavering hours and sorting envelopes all day? You want to set yourself up for success not failure.
Remember that as you go seeking a job, the company is looking for an applicant who is "the right fit."
And so are you.
Write down a list of requirements you seek in a company. In a boss. In your daily tasks. Then ask yourself, "Is the job role I'm currently doing qualified?" "Is the job I'm applying for qualified?" Be brave, applicants! Don't just find any ol' job, find the right job!
And lastly, while you're in that interview, put down the "protective shield", let go of your guard, and show them the true you. If they like what they see, it's a match, and potentially a long-term, happy career.