I once saw Anderson Cooper interview Lady Gaga on the venerable CBS show 60 Minutes. She is a pretty interesting character. Anderson was asking her about how she handles the way the press hang around waiting to catch her in an embarrassing situation.
“Well, Anderson, I am just not a barf in the bar kind of girl”.
This is the kind of authenticity that everyone needs to bring to an interview. It does not matter if it is a telephone interview with a recruiter or a face to face meeting with a hiring manager. Confident, direct and truthful is the way to go.
This does not give you permission to be rude or disrespectful. If you are asked how you got along with your former boss, you really shouldn’t say he was a jerk or he couldn’t read financial statements to save his life. It is okay, however, to explain that you made decisions differently or you had different approaches to customer service.
An interview is like the nice pair of shoes in the shop window. You go in to see if they have your size. You try them on. You walk around for a while, thinking of outfits that will work with them. You think about whether you can afford them. You see if the salesperson will give you a deal and together, you decide if they are the right pair for you.
If they don’t feel comfortable in the shop, don’t buy them, no matter how good a deal they are. They will mock you every time you see them in your closet.
Lady Gaga wouldn’t settle for ill-fitting loafers. Why should you?