Interview Tips

What can the Real Housewives confessionals teach us about interviewing?

I'm Jenna

With over 13+ years experience leading people and a HR designation, I have heard and seen it all when it comes to interviews. I'm here to share my interviewing tips, guidance + perspective on prepping for your next job interview.

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If you know me, then you know that I love reality television, specifically the Real Housewives franchise. 

One of the parts I enjoy the most is hearing their commentary through the confessionals.

If you’re reading this and you don’t know what a confessional is, no worries, let me tell you. 

The confessionals are various moments throughout the show when there’s a break in the drama. A single cast member or two shares what’s happening in the scene you just watched or were watching, and they’re speaking directly to the camera. These segments provide a different narrative to what’s happening and often expose new information for the viewer. 

My experience in watching the confessionals is that these moments are when cast members get unapologetically honest about what they were experiencing while filming certain scenes. They drop a bit of the ‘act’ they put on for the show and appear to be more themselves.

So while the Housewives may not be honest with people in person or chat behind someone’s back during the filming of the show (which, by the way, I don’t agree with), the confessionals are when the floodgates are open. Their opinions are shared, and they’re simply speaking their truth. 

For a bit of ridiculousness (and to humour me), I was thinking about how I could compare job interviews to the confessionals. You know…perhaps consider who a candidate could be in a job interview with the unknowing advice from our favourite dramatic Real Housewives?!

If you’re still reading, hi, and yes, I’m seriously doing this 😉.

These are my top five points to learn from the Real Housewives confessionals and how to apply them to your next job interview.

Here we go.

#1. Honesty. The truth always prevails.

Whether the ladies are honest or not on the show is for you to decide 😂 but for point 1, I want to encourage you to be open throughout your interviews. Embrace your career’s ups and downs. We all have them! My greatest career lessons have been from the moments I messed up. The self-awareness to recognize when things haven’t gone well and where you can improve is healthy. And when I think of hiring a team myself or consider my favourite people I’ve worked with over the years, it’s the people who aren’t afraid to fall and get back up again.

#2. Be yourself.

This next point ties into point 1. In a job interview, there’s no better person to be than yourself. They’re going to hire you for you. The whole fake it to you make it thing, I don’t disagree with it in some regards; however, don’t you want to step into a new job doing it your way? The way you envision. For example, why pretend you’re a master strategist if that’s not your strong suit? 

There’s no point in foreshadowing that you’ll leverage a set of skills you have no interest in leaning into. Be yourself. Share authentically how you would do the job, how you’ve done it in the past and/or how you would approach specific scenarios. Your happiness and job fulfillment are dependent on it. 

#3. Take time to reflect.

The confessional’s dynamic is the cast member’s reflection on what the audience has just observed. They’ve had time to reflect before sharing their perspective and intel. This is equally important in job interview preparation. Reflection is the first step of the OTI interview prep method. At every point in your career journey, I will encourage you to reflect to confidently recall your experiences, skills, abilities and knowledge in action.

If this point about reflection makes you think, “I’d like to do more of that,” check out this blog article, My greatest secret for easy interview preparation

#4. Sometimes less is more.

Oh, dear. Have you watched a confessional and thought to yourself, stop talking, stop talking, stop talking! It makes me think of the cringe I felt watching Paul Rudd’s character in I love you, man, iykuk. I’m laughing and cringing thinking about it 😂

Ok, so interviews. There can be multiple complexities, seemingly meaningful contexts and stories within stories. We all have unique experiences and stories about our career journey, and it can sometimes feel like, what exactly do I share? 

My advice? The majority of the time, less is more. Most of the time, the interviewer will ask follow-up questions if they’re interested in learning additional details. 

Stick to what the interviewer has asked and use a framework like the STAR Method to guide you in keeping things buttoned up and well explained. For questions that aren’t behavioural based (tell me about a time when…), consider checking out this article on How do I answer interview questions in a clear, concise way?

#5. Dress to impress.

Now, this point is not about wearing your most acceptable attire but actually about showing up as a professional. This is not as critical to me as the examples shared above, but needless to say, still important. Consider the culture and values of the organization as well. How you dress for an accounting interview with one of the big four versus how you dress for an interview for a sales associate position at a sporting goods store should be different. 

Debate me if you will, but at the end of the day, I strongly suggest that you do you, AND keep the professional piece top of mind. 

When it comes to job interviews, honesty, being yourself, taking time to reflect, thoughtfully sharing responses and dressing professionally are all key components to showing up powerfully for your next career conversation. 

Who would have thought there was a connection between the Real Housewives and job interviews? Thanks for embracing my quirkiness, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. 

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Hi, I'm Jenna.
Your new career and interview prep coach.

I'm incredibly passionate about supporting people to walk into their job interviews with confidence. With 13+ years experience leading people and a HR designation, I have heard and seen it all when it comes to interviews.

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