Addressing the professional vs. personal balance online

PersonalDo you ever feel like you're being too personal online? Ever feel like all you do is try to be professional with every social outlet? You have to find the balance. Recently at PRSSA National Assembly we heard the quote, "In a workplace interview, the hiring manager wants to make sure they can spend 8-10 hours a day with you and not hate you."

As I was interviewing, a common theme popped up toward the middle or end of the interview: the interviewer wanted to know more about me, my interests and my likes. Questions that popped up:

- What kind of music do you listen to?

- What do you like to do besides work?

- Do you work better in a quiet or loud environment?

- What are your ideal work hours?

- Are you open to going to get a drink after work with coworkers?

- What are some of your life plans outside of work?

- What's one thing outside of work you're really proud of?

- What makes you laugh and what funny sites do you like to visit? (I love dogshaming.com!)

 

All these questions in the interview were helping them learn more about me and how I would fit in their workplace culture.

Another thing you can do before the interview: show more personality online. I know my Twitter stream is filled with all kinds of scheduled content about the latest news in marketing and PR, but I've seen a lot of personality come out recently too. You don't have to have your professional game on 100% of the time!

Show love for your favorite sports team, talk about what you're doing this weekend, share a new favorite song you found, get involved with some political debate, start a conversation with your best friend, tweet about a show, etc. I have gladiator in a suit in my bio, so one interviewer asked me what I thought about the latest season! The point: show who you really are.

While I still don't think you should post pictures with the caption " SO DRUNK," I think it's more than okay to show a picture of you out at a bar with friends and it's okay to have some alcohol in your pictures. You can make the right decision here for you. Alcohol in a few photos isn't actually going to be a deal breaker (unless you have a drinking problem).

I have four tattoos and it's always great to see someone else with a tattoo because I can ask them about it and the story behind it. For me it's another mutual bonding point that starts a conversation.

So don't be afraid to show more personality in your interviews AND online. It really will help people get to know the real you.