How important is honesty in the application process?
How honest and authentic should you be when applying for a job? Of course, personal values and needs are at the center of the job search. But if you forget the company’s expectations, you’ve lost. Learn how to stay yourself in the application process, but still meet the demands of the potential employer.
By Bernie Tewlin, Octobre 2022
You can also read this article in German.
Never before in history has the individual been so central as today. On the positive side, the focus on personal goals leads to greater self-realization and fairness. On the other hand, however, the trend promotes self-staging and self-marketing. In social networks, we mostly see faces without blemishes in attractive environments with supposedly meaningful messages. If we only focus on ourselves and show our best side, the desired fair and authentic working world will be missed.
Dishonesty in the application process leads to a dead end
The application process is no exception. It has always been a competition in which employees and employers dress up and then, at the latest after the probationary period, drop the masks and show their true colors. Efforts are being made for a more natural and honest exchange, but both sides are still playing coy. Why is that? It’s no secret that a miscast costs in the range of a year’s salary, not to mention the emotional damage from follow-on staff resignations or exhaustion including doctor’s visits due to miscues in the team structure.
Try it out and get to know yourself
So how should you, as an applicant, proceed to get where you want to go? A crucial point is seniority. The first period of your career is the trial years. You can consciously try things out and compare them. Do you fit into an SME or is the large international company your first choice? Do you like a hierarchical environment or is the holocratic organization exactly your thing? Are you a specialist or a generalist? There is no right or wrong. Important: Don’t follow a trend just because it’s in vogue. Find out what suits you. And don’t forget: you have to pitch in and take responsibility. Nothing against modern trends, some of which are really good, but no company has ever been successful without hard work and sweat (please spread the word!). After the trial years you should know roughly what your ideal job setting is. This may change later, but the essential key points usually remain.
Good preparation for the application is half the battle
Regardless of which phase you are currently in: In the application process, honesty with yourself and the employer is always the trump card. When job hunting, look at the companies. Pay attention to the vision, the purpose, and call if you have important questions that are relevant to your decision. Take your application and your counterpart seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Of course, not all questions need to be answered before the first meeting. Rather, you need to be open to new ideas and not fall prey to prejudices or the opinions of others too quickly. Evaluation platforms should also be used with caution.
No employer and no employee are perfect
When it comes to a job interview, an honest conversation at eye level, a willingness to compromise and good preparation are required right from the start: What do you need to know about the company and the position in order to be able to make a decision? What is really important to you and what is just incidental? How can you contribute to the success of the company? What kind of culture and development do you want? In an exchange, you can ask your counterpart about these points to find out to what extent the ideas match. Don’t look for perfection, but listen to your gut feeling and to what is essential for you. Many things only become apparent over time and, as we all know, nothing is as constant as change. The 100% perfect employer as well as the perfect employee only exist in Hollywood movies. These, in turn, are not authentic, but they are good for escaping from the real world for 90 minutes.
Do you have any other tips for the application process? Let us know in a comment.