5 Bad Mistakes Senior Candidates Make at Interview
Via LinkedIn : For this post, I’m going to ignore some of the more obvious (and funny) mistakes I’ve seen at interview. Another time I’ll write about the maniacal beard-stroker and the ‘I brought my dog to the interview I hope you don’t mind if he barks a bit’ candidates. For now, let’s focus on more strategic errors.
I deal with clever, successful, confident people every day. Reasonably often, these people project arrogance. The impression they give is that they’d condescend to do the job, even though it’s beneath them. If I sense that, so will the client—and they very probably won’t like it. The best people convince you of their skills without the attitude. I’m reminded of an old song…‘Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble…’
Again, clever senior people often trip themselves up by assuming they have all of the answers before they hear about the job and the situation. They often launch into ‘what I’d do to face this challenge’ before they actually know the full story. They can also fall into the trap of launching into pitch perfect interview answers that don’t quite address the question—because they’ve heard the first part of the question and assumed they know its full measure.
Often, the best candidates are the worst prepared, because they are so used to being masterful (particularly around junior or low-quality recruiters) they anticipate an easy ride. Being poorly prepared is lazy, and—no matter how good you are—it will show up when you’re interviewing for big roles.
Sometimes, I’ll get great candidates competing to win roles they really shouldn’t want. It’s a ‘win-at-all-costs’ mentality and drive that’s probably a big part of their success. It can be difficult to distinguish those candidates from the ones who are actually right for the job, so no doubt there are plenty of people out there who are victims of their own success.
I’ve worked in recruitment for 15 years, and I’ve seen some truly terrible recruiters—far too many, unfortunately. I know it must be difficult speaking to yet another low-budget practitioner, but sometimes ‘recruiter fatigue syndrome*’ carries over to meetings with other recruiters who do have their game together. The best senior people don’t judge the individual by the wider industry.
Luckily, the vast majority of the people I meet don’t commit these sins. Although, I can think of a couple who committed all five in the first two minutes. Do you agree with this list? I’d be great to hear what you think, what your experiences are, and whether you’ve ever taken your dog to an interview.
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