Interviews can be fun. People who do them a lot know an interview really doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking or difficult experience. The stigma that surrounds the interview is that you always think you have to project the best version of yourself. When you interview a lot you know that, more than anything else, you need to be real.
Be objective about your experiences, skills and knowledge. Show your prospective employer your true self. Being honest is appreciated, and asking the right questions can do a lot for you.
Keep the simple rule that you should be asking questions, but here are seven other rules you should break to nail the interview and get the job. Beware: Breaking some conventional rules won’t be appropriate in some cases and may even go against the odds or popular beliefs in general. In other words, following these suggested actions is no guarantee of success. However, if breaking a few rules helps you be true to yourself, it may be exactly what your new boss is looking for.
1. Ask about salary.
The first interview rule I’d like you to consider breaking is the outdated idea that you should never ask what the salary is going to be. To the contrary, asking about money is arguably the best thing you can do for yourself. These days, most companies are transparent about the salary even in the first interview. Regardless, even if the company isn’t willing to be transparent, this is still a piece of information you want to know. By asking this question, you’ll be showing that you value yourself and you’re genuinely interested in doing a great job. What’s more, if the company isn’t willing to tell you salary info, it may be an indication that you aren’t the right fit for that organization.
2. Talk about how you solved past work issues.
There’s a longstanding line of thinking that’s it’s just bad news to go talking about problems you may have had in a prior workplace. Some professionals have begun to turn against this in more recent years though. If you honestly reveal what type of issues you had during your prior positions and how you resolved them, you may get bonus points in the eyes of many interviewers. After all, they need to see what you’ve been through and know what you can really do for their company. The value you’ll bring is an important consideration and even crucial in their decision-making process.
3. Tell the company your expectations.
Not every job seeker feels enthusiastic about confidently professing their needs and wants to a prospective employer. The truth is, they need to know about your values and motivations. At the same time, you need to tell them what you realistically expect from their working environment, salary, bonus, and, yes, even politics. If your expectations don’t match up with what they’re offering, then they might give you more if they truly value you as a professional. Stay true to yourself.
4. Ask what resources are available for the position.
You don’t want to be demanding about support you’ll need for a role you haven’t won yet, but it’s more than reasonable to ask about the resources the position will need. It shows your possible future employer that you’re ready to start work. You’re already doing everything posssible to be successful, and have your head in the game. Drop any doubts about it and ask what you will have and how you can use it for the enhancement of the role.
5. Explain why you left your last job.
This is another one that goes against advice I’ve been given in the past. Be honest about why you are leaving your current job. The story is often not a happy one, but you should consider telling the real reason. It means that you want your new employers to know about the things you’re not willing to put up with in a working environment. All of the answers you give in an interview provide an assessment of your personality and the type of worker you are. You don’t have to describe all the nasty details (if they exist), but you should speak about the root of whatever issues you were experiencing.
6. Describe a project you worked on that was a complete failure.
It’s becoming more and more popular to speak about failures as a stepping stone to success, and this is part of that. Describing a previous failure shows that you have confidence, know how to handle tough situations and have experience. Don’t hide your mistakes. Why? They help define you as a person and a professional. And, they can sometimes get you the job. Be bold with who you are as a worker. They’ll appreciate it.
7. Describe your personality.
There’s no use in hiding now. Show them what they’ll get from you. Talk about your habits, hobbies and even flaws. Show that you can use this unique mixture of traits to your advantage. Let them know how you can successfully handle tasks with all that you bring to the table. They’re going to learn about you soon enough, so let your personality shine through.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com on October 3, 2017.