By Khalilah Starks
Here’s the scenario – You finally get the call from your dream company asking you to interview. You want this job! The money is right. The people that you’ve met are awesome. When you hear the company’s name, you get goose bumps! A week later, the interview is here. Game face is on. You’re ready to show them that you can be all that they want you to be with a cherry on top. You tell them exactly what they want to hear – you’re a natural born leader, problem solver and team player. Awesome! The only problem is that you actually prefer to work alone and suck at dealing with conflict which is a highly critical skill needed for any leader or team player. But hey, you say whatever you need to say to get the job! You notice that everyone that you meet on interviewing day is bouncing off the wall with energy and excitement. You’re typically a pretty laid back individual. But, you want this job, so you start bouncing off the wall with them! At some point, you even begin to surpass their energy level. By the end of the interview, you’re exhausted. But, you crossed the finish line! You should be nominated for an Academy Award – Outstanding performance in an interview! You know you got this one!

But what happens if you get the job? You’ve got to be the natural born leader, problem solver and team player that you so passionately stated you were in the interview. Make sure that you drink that Red Bull every morning before you get to the office because you’re going to need to energetically bounce off the walls on a daily basis. Laid back won’t cut it! Whatever representative you chose to introduce and sell in the interview, will be the representative you need to deliver once you get the job. The only problem is that, eventually, the real you will start to peek out. We are who we are. You can act like you’re something that you’re not, but the truth eventually comes out. The real you will always prevail over any representative that you present. And, that’s when the trouble begins.

All of sudden, the real you starts to shine through that representative exterior that you passionately sold. You’re not relating as well with your colleagues. The whole “energy on steroids” game is getting really old – they have way too much energy and you don’t have enough. Your boss notices that you haven’t maintained the same energy level which leads to the assumption that you must not be as passionate about the job or company. Your boss also notices that you’re leadership skills aren’t that strong and you really don’t work that well on teams which are critical skills for the job. And, you’re actually starting to feel that the job and company isn’t all what it was cracked up to be. The honeymoon is officially over.

I’ve seen this happen on several occasions and the result is always one of two things. 1) The company manages you out of the organization. Yep, you’re fired! 2) You get the hint and luckily find work before the company is able to pull the trigger. Either way, there is no happy ending. So, be yourself at the interview (the very best you, of course) and lose the representative!