The advice to ” just be yourself,” isn’t trivial. In some cases, it could help you land a job.
A recent London Business School study found that being authentic could help certain job candidates land an offer.
“Interviewers are drawn to individuals they perceive as being genuine,” Dan Cable, lead researcher and professor of organizational psychology, tells CNBC Make It.
The important caveat is that being authentic – going “off script” in an interview, expressing yourself freely or openly acknowledging setbacks – only works for some.
The advice to be genuine works best for “top candidates,” or those judged to be very qualified for the job, Cable explains. A good measure of this, he suggests, is if a candidate has been called back for the second round of interviews.
For below-average candidates, or those perceived as not totally qualified for the job, being genuine hurt their chances of success.
The study analyzed a group of lawyers, teachers and MBA students applying for either a job, or admission into a program, respectively. The results were consistent across the three different groups.
So what does this mean for you?
If you feel you are in the top echelon of candidates applying for a job (you meet all of the qualifications or have been called back for a final round of interview), consider being more charismatic in your responses.
It’s a funny thing to tell yourself, but it might just work.
For example, a qualified candidate who admits to “occasional limitations and setbacks,” Cable says, “will demonstrate self-knowledge.”
On the other hand, if you know you’re not totally qualified for the job or are just in the first round of interviews, work to impress the hiring manager and convince them of your added value. Once you’re in the final running for a job, and you’re sure you have the skills the company is after, Cable says, you can feel more comfortable showing more personality – it will help you stand out.
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