Published 11 January, 2021

How Much Transparency is Good During Interviews ? (6 Mins Read)

An interview is equally important for both the employee and the employer. In an interview, the candidates portray their best versions to look like a perfect fit for the job. Their posture is always impeccable and a permanent smile pasted across their face from the very beginning of the interview process. A job interview is almost like being on a first date. Whether it’s a first date or an interview in a tech company, you’re actually being sized up to see, not only that you’re a good fit for them but also if they can be around you all the time.

While it’s important to portray your best self in a positive manner in these situations, eventually your white lies and exaggerated truths might create problems in the relationship between the employee and the employer in the long run. For example, if you have made it through the hiring process claiming that you are an expert in sales, then you have to perform at the level which you promised you would. You should always keep in mind that there’s a difference between putting your best foot forward and over selling yourself. There are much better ways to crack a job while being genuine and letting your employer know the true version of yourself.

Showcasing the true version of yourself

The best way to prepare for an interview would be to make a list of your answers for the questions which are asked most often. If you are confident of your skills and the domains of your expertise, then you’ll be able to articulate that to the employer truthfully and confidently, which will reflect your value correctly.   

Having confidence and being appreciative of your skills is the key to avoid getting caught amidst a litany of white lies. In order to know your skills you have to ask yourself, “How am I better than most of the people?” or “What’s the one thing I can do that I’m proud of?” This is going to create your personal brand which will help you showcase yourself better in the job market.

How to answer the tough questions honestly

Like when you have to answer the tricky interview question, “What is your biggest weakness”, it’s always better to be honest. According to a study done by two organizational psychologists, it was found that being honest about yourself in a job interview doesn’t reduce your chances of being hired.

So, instead of talking about how “perfectionist” you are who can be “too committed towards your job,” you should try taking the honest route. List a weakness of yours and talk about that like what you have done to overcome it. If you have a hard time confronting that, then talk about how you are learning to be more assertive by offering constructive criticism and solutions while disagreeing with someone else’s work. Your interviewer will then be happy to see that you are not only truthful, but you have also taken the time out to analyze your weakness and find a proper solution. This gives your potential employer an insight on how he or she can guide you to succeed in the company upon being hired.

Are you a perfect match? 

While hiring, the companies are actually looking for a cultural fit that gels well with the company’s vision and the workplace dynamics. The consequences of putting on a face in order to appeal better for the job would not even be worth the trouble, as going to your job everyday and having to put on a facade will ultimately lead to your downfall. When people try to display a self which is not true, they create a sense of alienation from themselves which increases their emotional exhaustion and eats up the cognitive resources that could have been focused on improving the job performance.

Moreover, lying about your experiences and skills is bound to catch up on you sooner or later and it will come out in a bad way. It might be easy for you to over exaggerate your competency on a resume or during an interview, but your true skills will come out in due time when you are put to test. Always remember, preparation is the key to success. You have to be well prepared before you go for the interview.

It’s not that honesty is needed from the candidates only during an interview, but the employers also need to have a transparent recruitment process. Let’s now see how much does transparency matter while hiring.

Transparency reduces employee turnover

Most of the interview processes reveal very little about what it will be like to work for the company. It’s quite commonly found that the expectations set during the interview process do not usually align with the realities of the job. The failure to show what working would be like at your company is one of the fastest paths to create a employee turnover problem.

The ideal remedy is to put these expectations into writing. Doing this would serve two purposes:

  1. It would clear up cases of he said/she said, as people mostly hear what they want to hear.
  2. Much more importantly, it will quickly reveal and allow you to fix any inconsistencies between the stated expectations and the ground realities of the job.

Transparency is a Great Differentiator

What started out as a means to reduce turnover has turned into a compelling differentiator, as people want to know what they’re potentially signing up for. Going into more details on the ways of differentiating your company, you should remember not to oversell it and talk about the benefits in transparent way. Clarify the salary expectations up front and tell them what the company's goal is. You have to keep in mind that you have to sell a career, not a job. Avoid copy and pasting emails.


Transparency reduces the drama post hiring

The transparency and the expectations we set during the interview process eliminates most of the drama which might happen if there is no transparency on the part of the employer. The culture and the job is what the companies say it would be. When you have your company culture right, you’ll find that your team enforcing it the way you need them to. They signed on for your great culture and that’s what keeps them stick to your company.

Takeaway: The interview is the first step towards a long and strong relationship between the employer and the employee which has to be trustworthy. As it’s like a partnership, so both sides have to be transparent. On one hand, the employee needs to display their true selves in the interview and present themselves in an honest way. On the other hand, being transparent while recruiting lets the potential candidates know that you’re honest, professional and you care about them and their experience, regardless of whether you hire them or not. If transparency is a core part of your recruitment strategy then you’ll be more successful in hiring and retaining top candidates.



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