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Why ‘Parity’ is Key during an Interview

Estimated reading time: 1 mins

Parity is when you behave and feel on a level with somebody else – and this could be a valuable tactic to present yourself confidently and share the value you can bring to a potential employer during an interview.

The classic imagery of an interview is of the candidate nervously clutching their resume whilst being led into an interview room full of stern-looking people. Reality is quite different from the cliché, yet still, most of us probably conjure up these self-defeating thoughts.

In decades gone by, interviews were really like that. In the 21st century, though, we can think differently. Why?

  • organizations seek the highest talent from the available labor market
  • competition for acquiring talent is at its highest
  • organization structures are flatter
  • there is increased granularity of job specialism
  • social change and culture

I advocate parity because there is no rational reason, in our society, why we must revere a stranger (of course, we can choose to if we wish). And said stranger is giving up their time to meet you because you could be the one person that solves their problem.

You are as important to your interviewer as you they are to you – perhaps even more. So why not consider yourself on the same level?

When you consider yourself on parity with your interviewer, this is what happens:

  • You present yourself more confidently
  • You talk more openly, and honestly
  • You smile more and appear (and feel) relaxed
  • You ask more questions
  • Your interviewer is more relaxed
  • Your interviewer asks less ‘scripted’ questions
  • Your interviewer smiles more
  • You and your interviewer enjoy more mutual respect

So shoot for parity!

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This post is part 11 of 18 in the series Interview Preparation
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Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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