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Best Interview Tip: Stop Trying To Impress The Interviewer

Posted by | September 26, 2017 | Interviews, Tips

Via Forbes : Best Interview Tip: Stop Trying To Impress The Interviewer

Dear Liz,

I’m a big fan of your work. I’ve been in HR nearly as long as you have (since 1987).

I interview twenty to twenty-five applicants per week on average. I’ve noticed three things:

1. The more prepared an applicant is, the more confident and relaxed they are at the interview. When I can get an applicant out of “oral exam” mode, then we can have a real conversation about the role and their goals and background.

2. Applicants who are confident are much more likely to get a job offer than applicants who virtually beg for the job.

3. Applicants who use their energy trying to impress me don’t often succeed. People who come to the interview with their own ideas, stories, opinions and perspectives are much more likely to get the offer.

I hate to see talented people undermine their own candidacy by sending the message “Please choose me!”

Keep up the good work Liz —

Melissa


Dear Melissa,

There are parallels between job-hunting and dating. When you’re dating and when you’re job-hunting, you need to have standards.

You have to know that you are worthy. If you go on a first date with someone who puts you on a pedestal and tells you “I don’t know if I’m good enough for you, but my fondest wish is to see you again!” you are not likely to be excited about the second date.

People who lack confidence in themselves don’t inspire confidence in other people. Most of us want to date someone with healthy self-esteem.

When you’re trying a fill a position, you want to hire someone who knows what they bring — even if they haven’t held this exact job before. You want to hire someone who can solve some of your company’s problems.

You don’t want to hire the person who begs for the job most convincingly. Any company that is looking for people like that to hire is an unhealthy organization.

I wish every job-seeker could see the videotapes that play in my head when I write or speak about this topic. I sat in countless staffing meetings where my fellow managers and I talked about the candidates we had met during the week.

Which candidates made our hearts beat faster? The candidates who knew their own worth, of course! We brainstormed about how to put together comp packages that would win those candidates to our cause. We never worried about snagging candidates who didn’t know their own value.

On many occasions I pulled a candidate aside and coached them on their interviewing posture. “You will be more successful in the second round of interviews if you remember that you are here for a very good reason,” I told them. “You did not get lucky when we invited you to interview. You could argue that we got lucky when you showed up. Remember who you are!”

Fear is a powerful motivator. When someone is worried about money, naturally they might begin to fear the prospect of losing out on a job opportunity. If they only knew how that fear radiates from them and sours their chance at the job, they might shift their approach!

To stay cool and calm during an interview, preparation is the key.

Read everything you can find about the organization and about your hiring manager. Put yourself mentally in the job and ask “What are the issues this manager is most likely to be dealing with?”

Spend a few hours mentally preparing for the interview. It’s worth the time investment, to make sure you are sharp and confident on interview day!

You have no one to impress. Anyone who can’t see your talents doesn’t deserve you. Stay in your body during the interview. Trust that when the right job for you shows up, you’ll know it and your interviewer will know it, too.

Thanks for the reminder, Melissa!

Yours,

Liz

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