How Personal Should an Interview Be?

Throughout different job interview workshop sessions, I have always been under the impression that such events should be kept extremely technical and professional. Thus, I went into my mock-interview with exactly this sort of mentality. Every question that was asked of me I responded to with a clear and decisive answer that strayed as little as possible from the professional nature of the inquiry. However, I was deliver one question that asked me to reveal some weakness of mine. Although this is always a tricky point to dance around, I found myself reflecting back on a tendency of mine that I have inherited from my father. Therefore, I elaborated on my dad’s past as an officer in the army and how this created in him a propensity to take charge when things were not being done properly. I then explained how this acted as a weakness of mine and continued on with my interview. After the event, my interviewer proceeded to provide me with feedback. Surprisingly, one of the points that he really stressed was how affective the anecdote of my father was in relaying not only my point, but also a more personal side of me. The interviewer continued to state that this sort of window into my personal life helped to reveal a part of my character that is not necessarily clearly visible throughout the remainder of my interview. Because this seemed to be such a positive, I began to rethink my interviewing strategy after this event. Although I would like to incorporate personal stories or information more often if it has such a positive affect on the outcome of the interview, I simultaneously would no like to dilute an interview into nothing but an hour of childhood stories or an analysis of my emotions. Thus, I was wondering what sort of approach the rest of the class takes with regard to incorporating more personal information in their interviews.


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It really depends on the interviewer and what they want. If they enjoy hearing childhood stories and your emotional analysis.. give it to them. It might seem pointless in you goal of landing the job, as to display our skills and knowledge of an industry. But if you do land that job, realize that you will see that person 40 hours a week if not more. Knowing a co worker on a personal level, makes work alot easier.

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