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The #1 Secret to Acing “Your Story” In a Job Interview

leave toxic jobs Aug 22, 2018

How many of you were taught to “prepare your story” for an interview? Career experts would say that you must prepare your story so that there is a logical flow from all the points of the resume, and to embellish each aspect in the best light according to the position… but the reality is, if you have to prepare your story, and embellish it, it’s not really your real story is it? It’s some Hollywood version of your story. It’s not authentic.

What’s the cost to you of not being authentic?

Let’s say you convince a hiring manager to hire you in a job you won’t find long term fulfillment in, because you chose it primarily to look important or make more money. Or suppose you had the right job but was suddenly put under leadership that no longer was a good fit for you, but you did not do anything about it. What happens? Maybe the years will pass by monotonously and one day you’ll wake up wondering why you are not fulfilled in your role, why life is not meaningful, and why you can’t just escape to beach. Maybe you’ll eventually start to despise your coworkers, because your soul knows that it rather be around people on the same mission as yourself. Maybe you start to wonder if you’ll ever get rid of that nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Maybe a midlife crisis begins. The real cost of not being authentic is all the years on this planet you could have been in a place that brings you joy doing what you love and been supported doing so… because you didn’t believe it existed or that you could get there. The cost is all the lost value you could have created in the right position for you.

What’s the cost for the company & manager of you not being authentic?

Let’s say a manager meets the enthusiastic new hire, and at first, he does everything perfectly to please his manager: He says all the right things, aligns with all the people the manager aligns with, and never argues and always says that the manager is right. But what if after some time, the manager slowly realizes that while he’s away on vacation, nothing gets done, and he wonders why as time goes by performance is not as stellar as it once was, and that he notices his once new hire now seasoned employee is now disengaged. The manager will be increasingly disappointed.  Alignment will fail. Productivity will decrease for the company, and happiness will decrease for the employee. Not a good situation for anyone.

David Deida said that “Chronic dissatisfaction is the way you know you are living a lie.” And the answer is to own your authenticity.

The #1 Secret to Acing “Your Story” In an Interview is to be Authentic.

What we’ve found is that the easiest way to tell your story in an interview -- so that you can be matched to the career that is perfect for you -- is just to be open, honest and authentic. The interview process for the right jobs often come very quickly and naturally. There is no persuading, because there was nothing to persuade. Both people knew what they wanted, and were open and honest.

Think back to when you interviewed for a role that you ended up loving. Did you really tell your story in a prepared way? Or were you so comfortable that you just let it flow from the heart? So many people may have told you that you have to sound logical, that I should not say this, or you should not say that…

But just a thought: if you have change yourself in any way, then how will you know if the position is really right for you? And if you have to say "the right things" because you're afraid the hiring manager won't see value in what you really think... why would you want to work for that kind of manager anyway? One who would not see value in your truth, your purpose and your mission? What are the costs of working for such a manager instead of one you know would support you 100%?

When you are authentic, you attract the right people FOR you, TO you. You attract those who are on the same mission as you.

Have you ever had a boss or ex boss make you feel bad for pursuing one of your interests? When you live in your authenticity, you will now find that you will use what you loved to do as a hobby in your current role.

Have you had a toxic coworker tell you that you'll never get to where you want to be because they perceive you lack something? Of course, it's only their perception. You may hear things like “Oh, you don’t have enough experience”.  What we learned is that value doesn’t come from experience. It comes from talent. Talent comes from the Latin word “Talentum” which means “a sum of money.”  Using your talent is how you become successful. Your talent comes from doing what you love.  Talent + potential trumps experience, because you can have years of experience but someone with talent can get to where you are at half the time because they have that spark and focus that comes from doing what they love. And, they’ll have the drive to continue when someone of only experience starts to get bored and uninspired.

Many people have limiting mindsets. We believe in expanding mindsets and showing others all the possibilities:  that you can have whatever you want, as long as you are honest about it, and make efforts to get there every single day, and create VALUE for others. If you want to be a millionaire, ask yourself what type of person do you have to grow into, to become, in order to provide that sort of value for others?

Look For The Golden Thread.

One day you may realize that everything you did in your past had led me up to this point – and it was like the revelation of a grand personal masterpiece. Every piece of your life has its special place on your journey to where you are meant to be. That’s when you'll know what is the right job for you, and that’s when you know that your story makes sense.

You'll began to realize why you were drawn to certain mentors, certain books you read for pleasure, certain hobbies and interests you pursued. You might find that when you tell your friends of your new job when you receive it -- by interviewing authentically -- that they implicitly confirm that it's the right job for you. 

You may still believe that you need to have a job simply to pay the bills. How does that belief make you feel? What if you let go of the limiting belief that you cannot get paid enough for doing what you love? What if you knew that now in this current time you can make a living doing what you love? You may find that all these little things that you loved to do had a golden thread running through them which wove the tapestry of your personal story. That's the story you will use in your interview.

Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.

It’s important to note the environment you are in has a huge impact on how fulfilled you would feel in a role: is it one that you feel comfortable in, or do you have to pretend to be someone you are not to be accepted? Pretending to be someone you are not takes a lot of energy, energy you could be using to provide even more value in the position that fits you best.  

What changed many of our clients' career life was when they started surrounding themselves with people who took life into their own hands and created the exact life they wanted to live – a life of authenticity:  

  • People who built multiple businesses from scratch, right before my very eyes.
  • People that became market leaders in business niches they created out of thin air.
  • People who lifted others up, rather than put them down.
  • People who were always there to give.
  • People who focused on solutions and gratitude for the resources they have, rather than complaining and blaming others.
  • People who took responsibility to create the life they loved.
  • People who slowly worked towards their goals every single day, steadily achieving bigger and bigger ones.
  • People who wanted to serve and help others, and make a difference.

When you see constant and consistent examples of people living the lives they dreamed, that will open your eyes to what is possible.  This is the power of the peer group. You become the 5 people you associate with most – so make sure these 5 are the people you want to be, whether they are authentic leaders, high achievers, fulfillment seekers or service to others oriented people.

Finding your authenticity is not a simple task.

Having the courage to remove the masks you’ve worn all this time requires years of deep introspection and questioning your innermost behaviors and motivations. You need to be crystal clear on what type of legacy you want to leave, what is your purpose, what you want to do with your life: believe that you will find the perfect position to fulfill your purpose, and then go about finding it, no matter what all the naysayers say. And there will be naysayers, but they are really just there to cheer you on. To give you the energy to tell them F(#& YOU!

Choose Your Boss With As Much Gravitas As You Choose Your Spouse

We've found that the most fulfilling jobs come when the employee and the hiring manager are an authentic match. Probably more than 80% of people who leave their position has more to do with leaving the manager than leaving the position. When the manager and employee accept and support each other, and understand each other, just as they are, they go so much farther than when this chemistry is lacking.  This results in much more employee engagement and retention. That’s not to say that in some instances you won’t have a manager that is an authentic match. But if we can help make that happen as much as possible, we'd be making a real, concrete difference in the world, and in the way people show up to work, and show up to each other.

If someone ever told you that a supportive boss that has your back doesn't exist, let us tell you that it does. Because we have experienced it – multiple times in our careers – and we can show you how to get there.  And it all starts by being authentic in your story, in your interview.

So own your story. Live from the heart. And just let it flow. 

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