Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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Authenticity vs. the Parrot

Posted by Stephanie on September 22, 2011

A lot of people are people-pleasers (there are scads of self-help books on this). We’ve heard the phrases that describe people-pleasers gone overboard – phrases like yes man, doormat, and brown noser. We could add the parrot to that unflattering list of names. The person who seems to lack ingenuity, who simply parrots back what he or she thinks the listener wants to hear.

Is this an effective interview strategy? To read the popular interview reply books and rhyme off a parroted/pirated version?

I say no, parrots don’t get the jobs that demand problem-solving, initiative, creativity, ethics. (They might get the jobs that require an unquestioning and strict adherence to status quo, for an employer who wants supreme control.)

Embrace authenticity – real conversation, honest information, true-to-you communication. The key is to tell it like it is, not how you think it “should be.” People like authentic people better. Authenticity removes masks and barriers, demonstrates energy and passion, and builds real, not fake, relationships. Be authentic and watch your interviewer match you.

Job offers are dependent on fit as much as skills … stop “trying” and just “be.” People hire people, not parrots.


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