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Risk of having a statement misconstrued or taken as a much bigger deal than it is is why people (who want to actually land a job) are so fake in interviews to begin with. It ends up mostly being a test of whether you can put on your "interview face" without letting it slip (any slip must be the tip of some awful iceberg, surely!) for the desired amount of time. Which is why the "slick" folks who aren't good get through while the non-slick but good person who slipped up and let something genuine and not-at-all-a-big-deal-actually get through is lumped in with the "abrasive" folks (any hint of something is taken—not entirely unreasonably, to be clear!—as proof of a problem) and doesn't get an offer.

The actually-good end up having to do precisely the covering-up you mention, because genuine and entirely fine attitudes and behaviors are, in interviewers' imaginations, often magnified to their worst possible extremes. It's very valuable information for a good employee to have that they need to cover up or avoid certain things in interviews that aren't actually a problem, because they do need to do that, and they may not realize how things that they think aren't a big deal and in fact are not are coming across in an interview context.

I write this as someone who is, I gather from feedback, pretty decent at that part of interviewing. Doesn't make it less gross-feeling and stressful.




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