Being right VS being liked VS being you

August 10, 2010
2 min read

Having sat through and also conducted a fair number of interviews in my life, I have come to appreciate the interviewee that tells me about them – from the heart.  A job interview couldn’t be a more stressful time, if you really think about it. In an hour or so, the interviewer wants to find out exactly how the candidate thinks, works and talks, and figure out a probability of their fit into a team or organisation.  The interviewee wants to portray their finest intellectual assets and past successes, as well as find out about the job.

I find it interesting how people respond to particular interview questions. Do they answer so that they will be liked for how they answer? Do they answer so that their answer is in accordance with what the interviewer expects as a solution? Or, are they brutally honest, and tell you exactly what they feel?

Extend this away from the stressful interview and into normal life. Do you adapt your character to the company you keep? Are you answers skewed to reinforce a relationship? I guess everyone wants to be liked, to some degree or another, so a degree of mouldability might not be a bad thing. Or you might want to always be seen as being right? Right as in correct or right as in righteous – and the degrees in between – I suppose that is another debate.

Personally, I’m sometimes uninterested in people’s conversations – typically if they involve conversations about other people’s lives or topics with too much detail. I then have to consciously make an effect to look lively and interested – for the sake of being liked – I guess. If I choose to “be me” I’d rather play on my guyphone.

But I do frown on those people that make it their purpose in life to be liked by everyone, and on inspection actually have very little personality themselves.

So how do you fit in? Socially inept or totally aware? Just superficially or on many levels?


Filip Matous

Hey Murray, honest post. With people I meet I try to be honest but often find myself acting in a way to be liked. Thats why I need real friends that know the good and bad sides of me. People that I can just be blunt with.

I am starting to learn that being honest in first impressions is actually often a better route than being careful and fake. When someone I meet is open about their weaknesses or flaws I am far more likely to believe them when they explain their strengths. It’s the flaws and vulnerability that make people human, nobody believes anyone is perfect… so why act like it?

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