The 6 job interview myths that need to get in the bin.

Job interviews - is there anything worse? Planning the perfect outfit, brainstorming your strengths and weaknesses, putting on a professional front. 

Traditionally, job interviews meant days or weeks of anxiety just to project an image that probably didn't reflect the real you. These days, things are a little different - authenticity is king as an increasing number of companies focus on values and culture. That's not to say you won't be hit with some nerves though. 

"Things have changed considerably over the years, especially thanks to COVID," says career coach, Christina Foxwell. 

"But job interviews are always stressful - people attending often think they need to prove their worth or are trying to be overly formal," she says.

Watch: Men and Women in a job interview. Post continues after the video.

Video via Mamamia.

“In today's working world, an interview needs to be an opportunity for both the candidate and the client to connect. The myth about being perfect is one that needs to be overcome.

“Employers are actually looking to meet with the human that will be in their workplace. There is now a more relaxed interview process where people are being asked to show their character and personality.”

What’s changed (and why)?

Foxwell says employers’ needs have changed, thanks to the existence of virtual workspaces and an increasingly dynamic and fast-paced work environment across a range of industries. 


"Agility has become a key to organisational success and being able to adapt, show resilience, work in a team (often virtual) and creatively solve problems, is critical," Foxwell says.  

"Change is hard for most people and therefore the drive for people who can work in this environment is becoming a core competency."

Connection and culture is also more important than ever, Foxwell says. 

"The ability for people to connect, work cross-functionally and build a team environment has become the key to human-centred workplace environments that deliver outstanding success."

Here are some other misconceptions you can confidently put into the bin before your next job interview. 

Myth 1: Be formal.

The days of being forced to wear a professional mask throughout your job interviews are over.

With company culture increasingly important, Foxwell says employers want to see the real you. 

"They want to see you and get a feel for your character and 'heart'. 

So let your personality shine, crack a joke if you want to, share your interests. The real you is going to be found out eventually, anyway. 

Myth 2. Wear a suit (and make it expensive).

You no longer need to spend a small fortune on a designer power suit before heading to an interview. 

With workplaces far more casual than they used to be (let’s face it, most of us don’t even dress up the top half for a Zoom meeting anymore), the key is comfort and authenticity.  

"You need to wear what makes you feel like you," says Foxwell. If you feel comfortable, you’re best self is going to shine through. 

And if an expensive power suit is your comfort 'fit - wear that! 


Myth 3. Don’t make a mistake.

While projecting confidence is always a good thing, and it’s important to get the message across that you know your stuff, being nervous just shows you’re human. And don’t be afraid to make a mistake - just acknowledge it, and move on. 

"The more authentic you are, the better," says Foxwell. Plus it’ll show your potential new employer that you can handle yourself under pressure. 

Myth 4: Don't share your failures.

We’ve all done the old "perfectionism is my weakness" routine, but Foxwell says, admitting to failure is actually a good thing. It gives you a chance to demonstrate how you made it work for you. 

"Sharing a true story of real life and how you have navigated that is so much better."

Myth 5: Qualifications and technical skills are everything.

Don’t feel disheartened if you don’t have the qualifications or technical skills you think you should have. They’ve asked you for the interview, so take that as a sign that what you have to offer matters - don’t hold back! 

"Your experience counts and how you have developed is more likely to hit the spot. Your lived experience is what makes you more able to do the role," says Foxwell.

"Your ability to engage, connect, communicate is just as important as we work in teams with others."

Myth 6: They want the perfect person - so be that. 

"No, they are looking for a human to be with other humans," says Foxwell.

"Interview panels want to see and experience a real person. They want to understand how you tick, your value set, how you work with others, how you build and manage relationships, how you go about solving things, your ability to improvise and make things work and your ability to learn, take on feedback and improve."

Feature image: Getty.

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