Guest Author: Carole Martin, The Interview Coach
The absolute worst way to go to an interview is with the attitude of: “Please, please – hire me.”
When you go to an interview with that attitude you appear desperate. And even though you actually may be desperate in a difficult job market, you don’t want to appear that way.
The demeanor and attitude that you bring to the interview will set the tone for the entire interview.
Let’s look at it from the employer’s/interviewer’s point of view.
You are the employer and are seeking a solution to a problem. Your best sales person has just left and you have no one to cover the territory. You are hoping that you can find some who is capable to help you solve this problem. You are tired of interviewing candidates who seem to fall short. You would like to find a good person who can do the job and take over the problem. This will allow you to get back to your job to get on with your work.
And one afternoon a candidate walks in who appears to be confident, has a lot of energy, and who seems to understand your problem. This candidate is very personable and has a great attitude toward the type of situation you need to be filled. There is a real connection between the two of you. He “gets you.”
The more questions you ask this candidate the more excited you become about his qualifications. He presents himself with confidence. He doesn’t just say he’s good at closing sales, he gives great examples of times when he not only closed sales – but he exceeded expectations.
Your heart starts beating fast and you know that you have found the solution to your problem. He looks professional, he’s prepared, he has stories to back his claims, and he has asked intelligent questions that demonstrate his interest in what you do.
This is the man you are going to hire.
But wait, there are some problems: he has a higher salary expectation than you budgeted for. You reason that you can handle that by using your “fudget factor” and finding some extra money somewhere else.
The other problem is this person has been out of work for a few months. Could this be a problem? You already have a problem – you don’t want to hire another problem. When you question him he is sincere and honest. He’s going through a tough time in a tough job market. You ask him why he left his last job. He explains very forthrightly that the company that he worked for went through several changes and he no longer fit into the culture. He didn’t bad mouth the company or doesn’t appear to be bitter about the situation. Since you’ve had a similar experience you can relate.
After spending an hour with this person you are sure you have found the right “fit” for not only you but for the candidate. Everything you have asked him seems to work with your company and culture. He seems to know what he is looking for and what he wants when you question him about his goals and why he wants to work for your company. This is important to you because otherwise he won’t be happy working at your job and you will have to repeat this process again sooner than later – and you don’t want that to happen. You want to hire a “solution.”
You decide to check out his reference and if the comments are as positive as this candidate claims – then you will make him an offer. .
Looking at the job process from this perspective you can see that when you appear desperate and aren’t prepared with good answers, the interviewer will not get those positive vibes about you being the person to solve his problems. A desperate attitude and demeanor will work against you in the interview.
Negative thinking such as: “I’m probably not the “perfect” fit for the job, I’m over-qualified, or lacking in some of the skills,” or “They probably won’t like me,” will sabotage your efforts to make a good impression.
There may be no such thing as the “perfect” job or the “perfect” interview, but when you change your attitude toward the interview, you have a better chance of having a “near perfect” interview. And, a far great chance of finding the job that will satisfy your values and your needs.
The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. Contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. www.interviewcoach.com/services.html – ask for a free analysis to see how an interviewer would react to an interview with you.