Could you imagine having your mother sitting beside you in an interview?
You are trying to show that you are the best candidate for the job, and beside you is the one person in the world who knows you better than anybody else. Everything you have ever done wrong is stored in the vault that she calls a brain.
Let’s look how your mother might answer some of the more common interview questions.
Interviewer: Please tell me about your greatest strength.
Your Mother: She is great at sneaking out at night, taking the car without permission and hanging out with people I warned her about.
Interviewer: There is high independence required in this role, please give an example that demonstrates how responsible you are and how you work with limited supervision.
Your Mother: He can’t even put his dirty socks in the hamper or put his clean underwear in his drawer!
Interviewer: Can you please tell me about a time you worked effectively within a team to finish a project with tight timelines?
Your Mother: She said she couldn’t stand working with her team and that her boss was “out to lunch”? The project was doomed to fail, but everyone was too dazzled by the presentation to notice? She can’t even play on a soccer team, there was one time she punched one of her teammates in the nose.
Interviewer: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Your Mother: Probably sitting on the couch in my basement playing video games. He is so unmotivated; he only applied for this job for the discounts.
Let’s face it, we all carry baggage and have our faults. You are far from perfect and that’s OK, because nobody is perfect. If you’re nervous, that’s normal. If you stumble through an answer, that’s normal. If you leave an interview and realize there was a better way you could have answered one of the questions, that’s totally normal! You and everybody else make mistakes all the time.
Your role in a job interview is to sell yourself. You are simply highlighting some of your best traits or experiences. Yes, that means sometimes you will leave out less desirable things. Are you lying? No, you are marketing. A soft drink company does not tell you the acid in their drink can rot your teeth or your stomach lining. They tell you the drink tastes great and show you pictures of nice looking people having a good time. They highlight the positive features, just like you will do in an interview.
Try to take some pressure off of yourself. Yes, you will make mistakes in your interview and you may feel like you were talking about somebody else. But, so will everyone else that is competing for the same job. Hopefully, they will bring their mother to the interview with them … then they won’t stand a chance!