Stupid Interview Mistake: Crossing The Line |

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter warned you about crossing the line on your next interview and how that can become so costly. 

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I want to spend a little time today cautioning you about crossing the line on your interviews. I'm reminded of this by something that happened on an interview that I arranged.

I had someone interviewing with a client of mine. He was on his fourth interview; he's on the home stretch; they live his background. The last person he interviewed with told him, "You're the only person of a I've interviewed who is qualified to do this job." He's having a great interview. They are yukking it up. They are having a great time with one another.

The phone interviewer asks him a question to answer and he answers, "I'll show it to you on the whiteboard when we meet."

Ding ding ding ding ding ding.

Answer the question.

You're having a good time with someone but you have to remember that they are there to evaluate and assess you. They interpreted that language as "not being willing to answer the question." He was rejected

This person who is the only individual under consideration for this role, the obvious front runner, no one else is being considered, and he blew it. He also got a little too "friendly" with his language at particular times using a profanity or two in the course of answering questions. That's what I was told.; I don't know if it was true or not.

When all is said and done, there is a line you cannot cross. At any point where they ask you a question, you have to answer it. You can't put it off because you are feeling so friendly with the interviewer that you lose track of the fact that they are not your friend and are there to evaluate and assess you. They are there to make a determination as to whether you are qualified for the job. As much as they may like you personally, you have to show that you can do the job.

Caveat emptor. Don't cross the line.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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