How to use transparency to your advantage in a job interview
By Kylee McIntyre23-Jan-2018Views 2754

Job Interview

Your knee-jerk reaction in a job interview may be to conceal a lot of yourself. After all, you want to make money. This company needs your talent, but they want to keep their money. It's understandable that you may feel like you need to play a hand, so to speak, and keep the whole truth from your interviewer. If you seem a little more mysterious or detached, maybe they're more likely to give you the job and more benefits.

However, there is a case to be made for the other side of the coin, that by concealing the depth of your personality and talents, you're actually shooting yourself in the foot. If the interviewer can't get to know you as well, he or she can't gauge if you're a good fit for the job. Maybe you end up in a job you don't want, or maybe you get denied the job because your reservedness comes across as a tough culture fit.

The best solution, as it often does, lies in the middle.

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Come into the light. Here's how to use transparency to your advantage during the offer stage to get a leg up on the offer you want. (And, if you're looking for advice on how to successfully get to the offer stage, check out our post on that here.

1. Be upfront about other offers

If your interviewer asks, feel free to reveal. You don't have to bare your soul, but don't be afraid to be honest. You can answer in the affirmative. If they ask how many there are, you can reveal the number. Don't feel pressured to give out names.

You can do plenty with what you say, answering this question. It gives you an opportunity to show your sincerity, give your interviewers an idea of what their competition looks like, and push them - just a little - into choosing you. Don't be afraid to say there aren't other offers if there aren't - job searching is a process, and, if anything, you can use this as a sign of your commitment, especially if this is really the position you want.

Also, keep in mind that Singapore is very small with an even smaller tech scene. People talk. If you decide to lie or fib during this question, chances are much higher that you'll be found out than if you were applying for work somewhere else.

2. Make your preference known for your company of choice

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You can supplement your answer to the question about other offers with some kind of affirmation that this company is the one where you want to work. We generally discourage playing companies against each other, but if this is really a place where you want to work, you can add that to your answer, something like: “I have two other offers, but I feel that this is the best fit out of the three."

If you don't have other offers, you can say something like, “No, but I really feel that this position is right for me."

3. Move things along

If things are moving slow, you feel a little conflicted, or you want to give the process a little push, you can politely press for some action. If you're answering that you have other offers, you can add that, though this is your favorite of the offers, the other companies have qualities that you also appreciate. You can then, in turn, ask how the company feels about you.

If this seems too forward, no worries. It's possible you already asked a question like this throughout the body of your job interview. Now, you're just seeing where you stand - just like the interviewer is trying to do with you.

If you answer that this company is your only offer, you can push gently if you feel like the process has dragged. In general, though, the company should get back to you pretty quickly if you've made it this far.

“I guess this is my only offer - good thing it's my favorite and I really see myself here. What do you think?"

4. Honesty is great

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We've already touched on why you shouldn't lie about your salary to a recruiter, but to recap, you're basically setting yourself up to be regarded as dishonest. That's the last thing you want.

Hiring - especially tech talent hiring - tends to be pretty straightforward. Trust in the process. It's not a magic show. There are people sitting on the other side of the table from you who are interested in a lot of the same things you are. If you're interested in honesty, assume they are too. If they're not, then maybe you want to take your talents elsewhere.

Are you dreaming of your next career move? It seems like a long road from beginning your job search to securing that offer, but we're here to help. Candidates on 100offer's platform can receive up to 10 job interview invitations a week from top tech companies in Singapore, including Garena and Go-Jek. Further, the service is completely free. Give us a try.

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Kylee McIntyre
American tech, science, health, and environmental writer. Lover of scifi, fantasy, travel, and coffee. Find her on Twitter @ejkyleem.
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