Going into an interview with a begging mentality of “Please hire me! I need a job! I want a job working here,” is the very worst way to go.
You look desperate. And, while you may be desperate in a tough job market, you don’t want to come across that way.
On an in-person interview, the atmosphere of the interview will be set by your posture and attitude when you walk into the room.
Let’s take a look at it from the perspective of the employer/interviewer.
You’re the boss-manager-Director-VP, and you’re looking for a solution to a problem. You need someone to cover the territory now that your best salesperson has quit. You’re hoping to find someone who can assist you with solving this dilemma. You’re sick of interviewing people who don’t seem to suit the bill. You’d like to find someone qualified to do the job and solve the problem. This will allow you to return to your job and complete your tasks.
One afternoon, a candidate walks in who appears to be optimistic, energetic, and knowledgeable about your problem. This candidate is extremely personable and has a positive attitude about the role you’re looking to fill. Between the two of you, there is a genuine bond. S/he “gets” you.
The more questions you ask, the more enthusiastic you become about this candidate’s qualifications. S/he has a self-assured demeanor. They don’t just say they’re good at closing sales; they offer specific examples of occasions when she or he not only did so, but went above and beyond.
Your heart begins to race, and you realize you’ve discovered the answer to your problem. S/he seems to be well-prepared, has stories to back up their points, and has asked thoughtful questions that show they are interested in what you do.
This is the person you’ll be hiring.
But there’s a snag: s/he’s expecting a higher wage than you’ve budgeted for. You reason that you can deal with it by using your “fudge factor” and locating some additional funds elsewhere.
Another issue is that this individual has been unemployed for many months. Is this posing a problem? You already have a crisis, and you don’t want to add to it. You start to question whether s/he is genuine and truthful. They are having a difficult time finding work in this job market. You ask why he quit his previous role. S/he states flatly that the business they worked for underwent many changes and that they no longer fit in. They didn’t criticize the organization and doesn’t seem enraged by the situation. You can relate because you’ve had a similar experience.
You believe you’ve found the best “fit” for not only you but also the candidate after spending an hour with them. All you’ve asked them seems to be in line with the company’s values and culture. When you ask about their aspirations and why he wants to work for your organization, he seems to know exactly what he is looking for. This is crucial to you because if he doesn’t like working at your workplace, you’ll have to repeat the process sooner rather than later, which you don’t want to happen. You’re looking for a “solution.”
You decide to check references, and if the feedback is as good as this candidate says, you’ll extend an offer to him.
When you look desperate and aren’t equipped with good responses, the interviewer will not feel the optimistic vibes that you are the one who can solve their problems. In the interview, a desperate attitude and demeanor will work against you.
Negative thoughts like “I’m probably not the “best” match for the role,” “I’m overqualified,” or “They probably won’t like me,” will sabotage your attempts to make a good impression.
While there is no such thing as the “perfect” work or “perfect” interview, you can improve your chances of getting a “near perfect” interview by changing your attitude toward the interview. And there’s a good chance you’ll find work that matches your beliefs and needs.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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