Interviewers Can’t Read Your Mind
Via LinkedIn : A job interview isn’t the time for subtlety.
You have 45 minutes to let the interviewer into your world. The interviewer has 101 thoughts running through their heads – so hopefully a few of those thoughts will be about you. Your nerves may cause you to retreat into your shell to a certain extent. It will take a while to get them onto your wavelength, sometimes it may not even happen at all. The only information they have about you is on your CV and your LinkedIn profile – does that really paint a full picture?
For all of these reasons, an interview is a highly pressured occasion, both for the interviewer and the interviewee. The potential employer does want to get to the bottom of what makes the candidate tick, but unless the candidate communicates clearly and honestly, the stress of the situation can often result in misunderstandings and mixed messages.
Interviewers aren’t mind readers, so candidates need to be honest and candid.
This is not always easy. You go to the interview in your work clothes, and you naturally adopt your work persona. This may be a good thing on one level, but on another level, it is easy to forget that you may not have another chance to say what you want to this person. Don’t assume that they know what you are talking about, clarify your thought processes and don’t use industry jargon when simpler words will do.
In some ways, in an interview, you have more opportunity to “be yourself” than you ever have in the workplace. At your current job, your behaviour is tempered by the prevailing culture and the people around you – an interview is a fantastic chance to find that “perfect fit” next role, but you will only do it if your interviewer is able to peel back the layers.
All this is easy to say, but a lot harder to put into practice. A successful interview means a new job, a steady income, and new career perspectives, but the “right” interview could mean a role that you truly love. Surely it is worth being a little more honest and being turned down for certain roles than pretending to be something that you are not and leaving the company in 12 months anyway?
Being transparent in an interview also brings benefits for the interviewer. You may have said a few things to make them grimace, but at least they are seeing “all of you” rather than selected snippets. If you are more evasive, they will wonder what else you are hiding.
Therefore, to my mind, the best interview advice that you can follow is to lay all your cards on the table. Just as your interviewer can’t read your mind, it is even harder for you to read theirs (as you will be doing most of the talking), so second guessing what they are looking for is never a worthwhile activity. If they like what they see, they will take things further.
Spell it out, slowly and honestly. Only then will they truly understand.
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