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Hearings: Authenticity pays off

A key asset particularly for top performers



If you are among the tops who are going through to the final in a recruiting process you can definitely raise your chances to get the job with authenticity. The more self-verifying is part of your personality (meaning you are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses you frankly talk about your experiences and plans and you are not hesitant in articulating personal thoughts) the more recruiters develop confidence and trust that you are the one! They do so because in contrast they usually are confronted in this type of processes with exchangeable, exaggerated or intransparent, let´s say not trustable self descriptions of candidates. If you are one of the less qualified candidates, though, the findings don´t apply on you: you ought tp be much more careful with authenticity per se – actually you could even reduce your chances subsequently.

This is what three recent interrelated studies havijng been conducted from Milan in collaboration with two universities in London and the Polytechnic University in Hongkong conclude.

Concretely they have evaluated interviews in two very diverse settings – once with teachers and once with lawyers by means of videoanalysis. Secondly the scientists targetted also the language of the candidates for tracing how self verification or self reflexion is being verbally expressed in hearings.

The Advantage of being oneself: The role of applicant self-verification in organizational hiring decisions. Moore/Lee/Kim/Cable, Journal of Applied Psychology, 2017. Vol.102 , Nr. 11, 1493-1513.


From practice:

They are standard: questions of recruiters aiming at „your most important strengths and weaknesses“. And every time we – the candidate and me as the coach – have to discuss what to prepare for her/his situation best and most convincingly, but also most authentically. That´s why any hearing I am involved in is not only coaching to professionalize impression management but also to trigger self reflection and questions like these: What do I want to accomplish when getting the function I am thriving at? What do I stand for as an executive? How are my personal values corresponding with those of the company?

It goes without saying that not only content is key, but nonverbal communication and it´s consonance with the words my clients use in their interviews. It matters if you prefer „I“ and „in my point of view“ instead of the unpersonal „one“ and you can do yourself something really good by responding directly and comprehensibly to questions and comments of the hearing committee instead of answering long-windedly and contradictorily.

My credo for hearings is and was all life long: credibility = authenticity + professionalism + courage for criticism. I am more than happy to confirm the findings of this studies: 8 out of 10 of my clients get the job they have applied for.


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