IT Employment

Three interview behaviors managers don't like

It's a mistake to think an interviewer is going to be able to look through your exterior to see the exceptionally wonderful person you are inside. As painful as it may be, you have to exercise certain behaviors to be successful in interviewing.

It's a mistake to think an interviewer is going to be able to look through your exterior to see the exceptionally wonderful person you are inside. As painful as it may be, you have to exercise certain behaviors to be successful in interviewing.

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It is a common mistake of the job seeker to believe that interviewers possess some kind of clairvoyance. They think that they really don't have to go out of their way to present a certain image because an interviewer is going to just magically pick up on their sterling qualities. But the cold, hard reality is you do have to put forth an effort and present some behaviors that your interviewer will respond to. Here's what to avoid:

  1. Bad non-verbal cues. I know it's a cliché, but a firm handshake and good eye contact really make a good impression. Now, of course, you can make an exception on the handshake if you have a physical condition that prevents it. Otherwise, do try to give it your best. I can't explain the psychology behind it, but people tend to equate a limp handshake with weakness. And, unless weakness is a job prerequisite, you're out of luck. I know I will hear from lots of people who'll say they're so shy they can't make eye contact. I understand that, but, right or wrong, be prepared for an interviewer to take that as a sign that you won't be able to stand up for yourself at work, and judge you accordingly. If I had a nickel for every time my mother told me to sit up straight, I'd be living on my own island right now, doing absolutely nothing. But let me tell you, there's something to this "sit up straight" stuff. As a manager, if I'm interviewing someone who is slumped down in the chair, I'm going to assume disinterest in the job. My assumption may not be correct, but it's the one I'll make.

  1. Talking too much or not enough. It is perhaps this aspect of an interview that would benefit most from a high emotional intelligence (the ability to read unspoken cues from other people). Watch the interviewer's eyes. If you're coasting into minute #20 in your answer to one question, and the interviewer is starting to fidget or yawn, wind it up. On the other hand, if the interviewer pauses after you answer a question, then that may mean he was expecting more.
  2. Not asking questions. I always hated the part where an interviewer asks if I have any questions. Sometimes you can't possibly know enough just from an interview to be able to form any questions. Sometimes the interviewer has been so thorough in his descriptions of the job and company that there doesn't seem to be any more to ask. The best questions to ask are those that pertain directly to something the interviewer has said during the interview. It shows you've been listening.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

165 comments
njnuop
njnuop

"Talking too much or not enough. . .On the other hand, if the interviewer pauses after you answer a question, then that may mean he was expecting more." Most interviewers worth their salt use silence to get you to say something that is better left unsaid. If you've answered the question, let THEM be the first to fill the gap. I say this as an interviewer and an interviewee.

fidlrjiffy
fidlrjiffy

I hate the "do you have any questions" question. Most of the time my head is swimming with what the company does and what the position entails that it's hard to come up with something that's a) not obvious, b) not about salary, c) hasn't already been mentioned. Most of the time the interviewer is pretty darn good and has told me pretty much everything I want to know. If I've answered the interviewers questions then we should be good to go. One thing that I've started doing to show that I'm listening is to sum up my impressions and what I've heard. The interviewer then has the opportunity to correct me if necessary and also can see that I can synthesize information which, at least in my opinion, is what IT is about.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

What's in it for me to consider working here is out of the question right? :^0 Not something I've ever personally asked of a HR Type as I've never actually seen one in relation to a Interview but something I always ask the Boss who was trying to lure me away from my then current position. I've never actually got a good answer for that one either. :p But I'm most likely not the normal person interviewed either as I've just got answers like I want you working for me as an answer. :( I actually got that again today with a guy trying to lure me back to fixing Sewing Machines. Even 35 years after walking away from that isn't long enough yet. :_| But I wonder what an Interview is actually like as the only ones that I've ever been to was when I was interviewing companies to see if I should work there and no the money was never a good selling point. :p Col ]:)

andrew.quee
andrew.quee

When I applied for my current job, I made a point of following similar advice. One thing I did was remember the names of each of the three interviewers in the panel as they were introduced (not by taking notes), then at the conclusion, giving each of them a firm handshake, good eye contact and thanking them personally by name. While a simple trick, it made me very memorable to them and stand out from the other applicants. Years later they were still recounting the story, so it must have really had an effect!

etkinsd
etkinsd

of the process...they won't add any value, and will screen out good candidates. HR people don't understand the technical requirements for engineering jobs, like software and systems engineering. eye-contact was listed, ha, ha, ha in fact LACK OF EYE-CONTACT is common in personalities that are highly analytical and extremely oreiented towards puzzle/problem-solving. these are EXACTLY the kind of folks you want on a technical team!!! HR people are most often unable to identify "like" or equivalent skills that a candidate may have -- because they can only focus on a proposed wish list the hiring manager or lead made. Many times skills like problem-solving and analytical thinking are personality traits that HR checklists don't include or they are inept at assessing. i say only use HR to explain the company benefits, etc AFTER you have identified a good candidate. otherwise keep HR personnel in the office.

DTflutes
DTflutes

WOW you sound just like my mother, And just like my mother your 100% right WOW you gave me goose bumps.

eldarimus
eldarimus

My way to have "luck" is to be worth it. On the interview, the best thing is to turn the interview around, so that they would feel that you have a total control over the situation. On my last successfull interview - I was asked questions, and gave them such answers that raised more questions. By that I have managed to divert the conversation into the path I wanted to, to the territory of my comfort. Then it was my turn to ask questions, and I made sure - evry one of them was worth their time answering.... And you know what.... Interviewers then feel confidence in you, they feel power, not the fake one "oh, I am so brainy, I can crack any task like nuts"... no... They feel the real power - that thay can trust me, that I won't let them down, That I am worthy to talk to - from the first second they've known me... You need to use all your senses and all your verbal and non-verbal means to be able to do it, and then you will convince them that it is you, who they are looking for and nobody else! Thats really the aim, isn't it....

picardie
picardie

When I'm organising a job interview - I set up 2 interviews on the same day - one for the mid morning , this is for the job I do not want. And one in the mid afternoon - for the job I want. The Client is relaxed , they've addressed the pressing issues of the day and home pressures are well out of it. As well I've gotten the wrinkles out of interviewing and am more relaxed - rgds

deICERAY
deICERAY

This is my favorite 'technique' one I have always taught to everyone who meets people for any reason - doesn't usually work; doesn't work if the person you are coaching doesn't like shaking hands; it's a very difficult behavior to modify. IF they can change, it really DOES make a huge difference, but most all weak handshakers cannot overcome this habit. Weakness is systemic.

svasani
svasani

Atleast for IT jobs, I am convinced that the Hiring Manager is only looking for a Superman. If you know how all the Operating Systems, Database Systems and Programming Languages on this planet work, you have the job. Oh, did I mention--not required but would be nice to know all the CRM solutions.

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

1. Non-Verbal Cues: Worry about body language? Just be yourself. Are you shy and timid? Don't try and hide it during an interview! Are you trying to trick the interviewer into thinking you're someone you're not? It will only come out later -after you're hired. Are you worried about coming across as a Non-Type A personality? Maybe that's what the employer is looking for! Not all employers want a staff of Type A people you know. 2. Talking too much or too little: How silly. Just answer the question. What are you going to do after that? Just add more words?! Granted, some people tend to ramble a bit and that should be worked on but that's about all I'd pull from this advice. 3. Not Asking Questions: So what?! As you said, some interviewers are just so through that there just isn't any more information to look for. I don't care if the prospect has any questions for me. It doesn't change the fact that they're either qualified for the job or they aren't. Why would I care if they did some background research on my company? How would this change the outcome of my decision to hire them?

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

I had a lot of difficulty with job interviews because I come from an economically and socially challenged background; we grew up poor and in the ghetto... and I'm white... this was in the 70's with all the "black Power" Movement and I was the only white kid for twenty blocks in any direction. The 'panthers' were hungry, and I was the dish of the day. Had to join with mexican gang for a sense of protection and that led to all kinds of issues with the law... Anyway, was always going into interviews "afraid" of what the background check would show; it came through in my interviews as I was 'hiding' something, and I wouldn't make it very far. Since then I have found out what is exactly on my background and I have relaxed. I have the problem now of them going back too far (the law in WA is only 7 years) and even though the things that WERE there, are STILL there, I go in with the thought process that they can't USE it against me... it does color their perspective of me, but that's another issue for another day. I am usually getting into the "top five" of the candidate pool, but never 'the guy'... The last interview process I was on, I made it through the initial 'phone interview', and made it through the 'gate-keeper' interview; but then I had the interview with the President of the company... I show up twenty minutes early, cause there is no indication on the outside of the building of what is inside, and wanted to make sure I got the right place... I walk in the door, state my name, saying I realize I'm a little early, and the guy tells me to go to the coffee shop and come back at 10:00 (my original time); I DON"T EVEN MAKE IT BACK TO MY CAR, and I get a call from the 'gate-keeper' telling me she was told to tell me NOT to come back ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! HUH ? ! ? ! ?

TX Old Sarge
TX Old Sarge

The handshake goes way back because the right hand is the weapon hand and if you are looking for a compatriot a firm handshake meant that while you were making an alliance you were showing your strength as well meaning that you would be a good friend but also if you do me wrong I am strong enough to handle my grievance without the need of abritration. I have never figured out the too much or too little thing. Since it is a mental thing on the interviewer's side you have to try and figure out if he is easily threatened or wants a super trooper or might think you're overconfident or unteachable if you unload the whole truck or even half. The question thing; I always figured these lads and lassies are busy and if they have been clear then why ask pointless questions or questions for questions sake and waste their time and mine? I have learned to read some body language and between lines myself over the years and I can usually tell when they HAVE to interview me but already have someone selected or they are needing to fill some Fed quota and I am not in one of the categories. I currently have my resume at four non-profit organizations so we shall see if they have some of the same problems. I have seen one advertise for a position and state that the person had to be under 50 so I know that there is some legal age discrimination out there. I do great work I am just not good at the mind games involved in interviewing.

borkanserbian
borkanserbian

It's all truth, it really does work that way when speaking of interviewers behavior - they just act like they have finished psychology schools and it is not normal at all. I don't think people should change - as they really can't - I think employers should lower down their criteria. Going to change so much in your behavior and controlling attempts to the matter of thinking how and where we are looking while we speak - is changing your personality and it cannot be and possible - it can only be achieved temporary and by acting. Acting is same as pretending - equal to lie - deception - and even if we get enough practice to put it forward in front of what we truly are - it cannot last long. So what happens then? - you may get the job - but you'll be fired soon. And second it leads to insanity. This kind of psychical request can be achieved only by psychopaths (people with split personalities). People should learn to control them self - but in the manner not to affect their personality. Humans are not robots. They cannot decide and just program them self's - some can do more or less in practice, but in general - not to the matter they can last in it. Even the best actors in the world can't take to much in acting scenes, not to have rest and be what they really are - and they all go through tough problem of cleaning from their role after having a scene. The problem is not about where someone is looking while he speaks on interview - the problem is in employer's expectations and of course, there is much more employees then employers. Try to compare this subject in a situation with worst jobs no one likes and wont's to do - like cleaning, gathering... Not that you don't analyze where those people look when they come at the interview, you are actually very happy when they appear. So you even have to import people from other countries to do this kind of work - not asking much about their behavior. B.P.

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

One of the best post interview questions I have used was this: "What can I do to lock up the position I'm interviewing for right now?" It shows initiative, it shows that you are willing to work for what you want, it shows assertiveness, it shows that you are interested and willing to ask the hard questions. Honesty is also the best thing to take. When asked why I'm seeking this job, I usually respond with "It has a paycheck" and then go on to explain that is the primary motivator, but I also feel that this is a job I can do. (Yes, I do make those more PC and a little less in-your-face, but that depends on the situation.)

Shepps
Shepps

... you know what I mean... the question comes from the interviewer. Either 'what is your worst characteristic?' or 'what is the worst thing that you ever did in a job?'. For the former I have found that saying I am meticulous is a good way of making a potential negative into a positive, but what about the worst thing you ever did in a job?

jdclyde
jdclyde

If you prepared for the interview, you should have a list of questions to ask WRITTEN DOWN so you don't blank when the time comes. If they are covered, tell the interviewer that he covered everything. Yes Toni, follow up questions to something they said is a great idea. Don't be afraid to be taking notes during the interview. And don't forget, YOU are interviewing them on if they are worthy of your services or not, not the other way around. B-)

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

No matter what they offer. When they offer you the job and outline all the pay and perks, ALWAYS get something more. They ALWAYS have something more in their pocket. ALWAYS, of course, if they really want YOU !! Your challenge is to find what it is, but guarantee that it is there. Very basic Ideas: Subscription to industry journal. Repay Membership fee of industry society. Pay car-park costs. reimburse railway ticket costs. Reimburse education costs on proof of passing. And then of course 10% more salary to save them the next 2 months of looking for someone else. Bottom Line: Your 'YES' is worth money to them. At least get to share a little of it. :) I'm only half saying this in jest. This technique has a lot of side benefits - you find out what your estimated worth really is (are you really desired or simply there to fill in the numbers?). You also find out what mettle yourr prospective manager has. Can they make decisions? Can they handle "outside of the square" conditions? Are they prepared to make immediate decisions and bear the consequences? A friend of mine has the technique "keep on asking until they are screaming No More !!! Then you know you're at the edge. THEN and only THEN decide whether you want the job".

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

Hi Toni ! Thanks for another interesting post. Just for fun, here are some things I've found that a manager gets extremely uncomfortable about in the interviews: (Note: I don't include the "money" question in this list. I will have already asked this either of the headhunter or the manager before wasting my time to see someone). Here are the things I find make managers squeamish in interviews. 1. Exactly how many of your team members made their maximum bonus or commission last year? Exactly. Please show me your HR reports with the names blanked out to prove it. No, I do not TRUST what you say. I'd like verification please. Heck, a bonus looks good on paper but if the team don't actually make it on a regular basis then it isn't much good to me ! Real life example: Microsoft in Australia blasted all financial targets out of the water in 2007/08. Smashed them. Yet staff on bonuses and commissions made (on average) 47% of their bonus. All manner of reasons were given which, to me, are completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that, in a great year, the reality is that the "bonus" they quote is 100% higher than what they pay. THAT is what I need to know. 2. How long is it since YOU maxed out on your bonus or commission? I am happy to share my tax returns with you to prove how good I am, now what about you? 3. How long have you been in your job and how long do you expect to stay here? Like the phrase says: Never trust a skinny chef!! I don't want to work for Lenny the Loser in any company. I only want to work with managers who are going up the tree. 4. May I have a reference for someone who used to work for you but no longer does, please? What the??? I don't care for happy smiley references from your existing staff. I'd prefer to speak to someone who isn't there any more. I'll filter their information accordingly or simply come back and ask you for your side. { Oh, and by the way, I have done my research and I will be speaking directly to your clients (internal and/or external) - just as an FYI of course. I'll be happy to pass on their feedback about you in a confidential manner }. 5. What is your specific philosophy as a manager? What is your management process and training? What? Don't have one? Learnt by osmosis? See ya, d...head. 6. What is your biggest mistake as a Manager? "Continually overpaying my staff", I hope. 7. I know I'm good. You can ask around the local industry about me and find it out for yourself. What makes you think the same about yourself? 8. You want references? Um - Interview 101 - research your own references. Ever heard the phrase "look for the holes" ? Otherwise speak to my mum. She's okay. Well she was until I backed over her fav garden gnome last weekend but apart from that ... Bottom Line: Always take the approach that they need you more than you need them. Strangely, 99% of the time it's also true !!!

Justin James
Justin James

There is a piece of traditional advice that I've found helpful here, which is to look into a company before the interview. Before I go on an interview, I spend 5 - 10 minutes on their Web site getting to know all about them, then I have a few "stock questions" to ask. The trick is to NOT ask any questions that are answered on the Web site or in the interview, that just makes you look like you didn't research or pay attention. :) Some of the "stock questions" that I like to ask: * How many people are in the company? * Why do you like working for this company? * What do you envision to be the biggest challenge for someone working in this position? * What do you think is the most important quality in someone that you would hire for this position? I like to bring a notebook to the interview with this list of questions writen down, and write down the answers to the questions as I learn them, whether it be over the natural course of the conversation, or directly asking them at the end. That keeps me from getting the same information twice, which would make me look really dumb, and it also subtly shows active listening skills. J.Ja

eldarimus
eldarimus

My way to have "luck" is to be worth it. On the interview, the best thing is to turn the interview around, so that they would feel that you have a total control over the situation. On my last successfull interview - I was asked questions, and gave them such answers that raised more questions. By that I have managed to divert the conversation into the path I wanted to, to the territory of my comfort. Then it was my turn to ask questions, and I made sure - evry one of them was worth their time answering.... And you know what.... Interviewers then feel confidence in you, they feel power, not the fake one "oh, I am so brainy, I can crack any task like nuts"... no... They feel the real power - that thay can trust me, that I won't let them down, That I am worthy to talk to - from the first second they've known me... You need to use all your senses and all your verbal and non-verbal means to be able to do it, and then you will convince them that it is you, who they are looking for and nobody else! Thats really the aim, isn't it....

michael.kregel
michael.kregel

What the hell does a strong or weak handshake say about the person? NOTHING.

JamesRL
JamesRL

1. Non Verbal cues... Be yourself, but present yourself at your best, your brightest, your most self confident. As an interviewer we presume you are trying your best. Some of my best staff are not type A. But I appreciate someoen who makes an effort to get hired instead of someone who just shows up and takes their chances. 2> Talking too much or too little. Too little may indicate, along with other clues, that you really aren't excited about the job - maybe this is just a placeholder until you get that better job. Too Much - you may not be good at organizing your thoughts and presenting an argument. Its also sometimes a nervous trait. 3. Not asking questions. If you are looking to work here for 2, 3 or more years, then you probably want to know more than just the job description and the salary. Again it shows you are actualy interested. Doing background research does help show you actually are interested in the company and not just a paycheck. James

vicki_711
vicki_711

I know I would feel really bad in that situation, but think how they must treat employees if they can't even be civil to a candidate. Probably the best thing that could have happened!

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

Got any jobs? I'll send ya what ya need (resume, submission of work, refrences...) WOULD ABSOLUTELY love to come to BEAUTFUL AUSTRALLIA TO WORK... Re-location assistance?

c.walters
c.walters

Good point, if you are acting you are facking. But what if you really need or want a job? It is very good if you know some of the psycho stuff. Also in the relationship with your kids and your spouce. What also is a big plus are communication techniques. At first they seam also very robotic type of behaviour, but if you understand and practise the techniques they will become natural after a while.

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

If I were asked that question, that would probably be my answer. I will not be bulled by strong sales people (as many try on me all the time). The fact is that I'm looking for a certain person and I'll hold the job vacant until I find them. I'll interview all the people I can find in a reasonable amount of time and make a decision from there. If you have to ask what it would take to lock up the job right now, I'd say nothing. Either you're the right guy or you aren't but I won't know until I've interviewed all the prospects. Is that an outlandish thought?!

vicki_711
vicki_711

I personally don't like an answer that tries to demonstrate a positive attribute as a negative - such as I work too hard, or stay late too often, etc. As others have said, try to really show something that was a true negative that you recognized and worked on correcting. Funny enough I got my current job at a company that I was once a customer of. Several people at this company don't like me because I was very aggressive in contract negotiations (though respectful). They told me this is my payback, now I can be aggressive with their vendors!

dvanduse
dvanduse

I always hated these type questions. You have to answer with a load of crap. I work too hard, I care too much about my job, I'm too detail oriented. What's more the interviewer knows your answer is a load. But I play the game.

brianmilke
brianmilke

I just learned a great trick for answering that in class today! Specifically, we were asked in a mock interview please tell me three reasons why I should not hire you. Well...As individuals, we all failed miserably at those. But as a group, our instructor led us through a series of examples that led to these three basic responses... 1) I have a habit to show up for work early. 2) I sometimes work after hours to finish a task so I do not leave it unfinished. 3) Sometomes I work through breaks and lunch because I am driven to get my work done.

dvanduse
dvanduse

If I was a manager I would never hire you after these questions. You must have very specialized skills. The "No I do not trust you" statement alone would never get you back.

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

That made me chuckle! Great point though. Then again, this works after you're a bit more of a commodity in the industry.

JamesRL
JamesRL

1. Exactly how many of your team members made their maximum bonus or commission last year? First of all, I am not allowed by company policy to tell you, let alone show you a spreadsheet. Secondly if you don't trust me, don't accept an offer from me. I'd rather show you the door than waste my time and yours. 2. How long is it since YOU maxed out on your bonus or commission? Again not allowed, and wouldn't if I was. I am bonused on an entirely different plan than you, so it isn't applicable to you anyway. I'd be happy to share the gory details of what your plan would look like but my plan is between myself and my boss. If you wanna know, you have to apply for my job and get hired for it. 3. How long have you been in your job and how long do you expect to stay here? How is that representative of anything? I've been here 4 years, some of my staff have been with the company 25 years. My long term career path is between myself and my boss. I've been promoted 3 times in 4 years, but I'm not sharing my growth possibilities, its all speculation till it happens. 4. May I have a reference for someone who used to work for you but no longer does, please? I wouldn't be allowed to give you a reference of someone who worked for me here, but I could share one from a previous employer. Not sure what it would tell you about working here though. Every company is different, and that difference, in corporate culture, policies etc influences greatly how I manage. At least you said please. 5. What is your specific philosophy as a manager? What is your management process and training? I'd be happy to share my philosophy, but it has nothing to do with my training. Face it many IT managers come up through the ranks and have little to no formal training in business/management. And that can be good and bad. I've certainly known many managers with nice pieces of paper that were crappy managers, and many who learned by doing who are great. One of my best managers started off as a secretary. She had zero formal training and took to management like a duck to water. 6. What is your biggest mistake as a Manager? Nice joke. Hope you want an honest answer. If a manager can't admit to a big mistake they are either lying or too conservative/timid. Some of my biggest mistakes have been in hiring, as well as some of my best successes. 7. I know I'm good. You can ask around the local industry about me and find it out for yourself. What makes you think the same about yourself? What hubris! So you wouldn't work for a modest manager? We wouldn't get along. I've got enough emotiional intelligence and maturity to know my strengths, weaknesses. I certainly never represent myself as perfect, and if you come across that way, I will have my doubts. 8. You want references? Um - Interview 101 - research your own references. Ever heard the phrase "look for the holes" ? I always take references with a grain of salt, you wouldn't provide them unless they were going to be positive. I look for references to verify your title, job grade, nature of the work etc., not for qualitative opinions. Don't get me wrong, I like candidiates who ask me questions, if you ask no questions, I think this is just another interview for you, not a career opportunity. I like people who have done their homework and researched my company before the interview, and ask questions to fill the gaps in their research. And I like confidence. But hubris, which you exude by the bucketload, isn't a quality I look for. I don't need you specifically, I need the right candidate for the right job, and its my job to sort it out. By the tenure and tone of your questions, you sound like you think my company will die without you. I can assure you it won't. instead of focussing on what I can do for you, sell me on what you can do for my company, and once I am totally sold, we can talk about compensation. You seem to have little respect for management. Perhaps you should be a contractor instead of a permanent employee. James

fidlrjiffy
fidlrjiffy

Your third and fourth questions are very good. Essentially you're asking what are the most important things I need to deal with or show if I'm hired, and you give yourself an opportunity to point out how you meet those points. The fourth question you have can be covered by the job req but only by narrowing down the most important thing there which you can never tell. It also helps point out, and I'm digressing here, that if the most important quality is within 90% of a candidate's qualifications then by definition the remaining 10% is not important except perhaps as a tie-breaker. You know what I'm getting at: the vast majority of candidates never match a job description 100% and companies spend an equally vast amount of time looking for the perfect match. It is as if they are saying that there is no "most important quality" they need everything. In IT we have heard this many times; all projects have a priority of 1. It, of course, can't be. Back to your two great questions the biggest challenge will always results in a useful answer, while the most important quality may lead you to discover that the position also comes with unrealistic expectations. Great questions, great questions!

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

Not everyone thinks that way. Most view the strength of the handshake as an indication of how strong-willed or aggressive they are. I've actually had people talk to me about how some people try and turn your hand over so their had is on top during the shake. If you allow them to do that, you're a push-over. Silly? Totally. But most of the Western world hold this as a cultural trait -like it or not!

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

1. Non Verbal cues. Sure, don't get me wrong, I'd like to see someone present their best when they show up. I'd like to see them well-dressed and showered. But if they're actually a slob that likes wearing "wife-beater" shirts and cut-off jean shorts to the office, maybe it would be nice to know this before I hire them. Taking chances is what a job interview is all about. You're hoping that they're what you're looking for (the right amount of experience, the right type of experience, the best background --but not too much as they may not stay as long as you'd like, etc). An interview is not as much about selling yourself as it is finding out if you're the right match for the company (and the right company for you). I liken it more to the dating scene than a sales pitch... 2. Talking too much or too little. I don't give a hoot if they're excited about their job. It isn't a requirement of most employers (although smart employers DO hire based on such things IMO). An answer is an answer. If you have more you COULD say but need to leave it out for some reason, you're answer will be short. Too bad. Still, I will agree that talking too much is an issue that can be worked on (as I said before). Rehearsing answers to common interview questions, having a well-written resume that has already organized your thoughts helps too... 3. Not asking questions. Once again, I just don't care if they're interested in the company or just the paycheck. I'll get the same work out of them either way. If I want them to stay, that's the employer's job. The whole interview experience will tell a smart interviewee much more about the company than any words that will come out of the mouth of the interviewer. I would fully expect the interviewer to do their best to sell themselves as well -meaning they will only talk about the things that make them look good (true or not). Better to do little things like showing up early and asking to use the restroom. That short jaunt through the company will show you a lot about the place. How well organized the interview is conducted says a lot too --and who in the company DOES the interview... Ok, now I'm talking too much!!

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

Mind you, there may have been other reasons why they did that. Maybe they just made a decision on someone they wanted no matter what and no longer needed to interview you (although not a likely scenario). BTW, do you have a lot of tattoos showing? Still, companies that are so up-tight to not even give someone the benefit of the doubt is definitely NOT a place you want to work! I can tell you from personal experience, it's just misery --and the end couldn't possibly come soon enough. Good luck in your quest.

c.walters
c.walters

Once I was in an interview and used a simular trick. Turning something positive into something negative. Like: I get agitated when people do not cooporate in working as a team. Bla bla bla.. The interviewer responded: "I do not see what is bad about that. Tell me what are really your worst characteristics?" So be prepared for this reaction. What will be your next step?

Justin James
Justin James

Those tips are very common, like the original "how to get a job" book said them and everyone has been repeating them ever since, or something. The fact is, every manager was, at one point, a job seeker. We know this trick. "Gee, my 'worst' attribute? I tend to work so late to finish projects that I neglect my wife and kids, while on salary." Puh-lease. All that tells the interviewer, is that either you don't know yourserlf very well, or you are a liar and that you may be hiding something (or that you are a workaholic which is often not a good thing). I try honesty instead, and is has had FANTASTIC results. Here's how to be truly honest, while managing to show that you have some good points as well: "My worst trait is that I can sometimes be closed-minded to ways of solving problems if I didn't think of them. It is something that I am aware of, and I have been working hard on it." "I sometimes have been a little bit too fully open with customers, providing them with information that they really did not need to know and only worried them. I've learned to think of how a customer would perceive things, so this is not a problem for me anymore." "I tend to make my manager aware of problems before the problem becomes big enough to concern them, which wastes their time. I now make sure that I find out from my manager what level of problems they need to know about, so I can save them time and worry." The fact is, I always have a "worst attribute" no matter how much work I do on myself. Simply put, when I deal with #1 on the list, #2 steps up. :) If I try hiding this simply fact of reality, people see through it in an instant. But I have found that in interviews, this type of openess and honesty can seal the deal. A manager would rather have someone who is upfront about problems that someone who is looking to spin them. J.Ja

glgruver
glgruver

Looks like you are getting your money's worth at School. I hope they also taught you how to write a respectable resume. My son graduated with honors from a well regarded business School, but after I looked at his resume, it was quite clear why he was not getting any responses. It said nothing that would qualify him for any position in the business world. I sent him to a professional resume and career counseling service. Hopefully, that will help. Like you, he did receive some practice interview techniques and as a result, he did buy some nice looking business attire. Good luck to you.

glgruver
glgruver

Looks like you are getting your money's worth at School. I hope they also taught you how to write a respectable resume. My son graduated with honors from a well regarded business School, but after I looked at his resume, it was quite clear why he was not getting any responses. It said nothing that would qualify him for any position in the business world. I sent him to a professional resume and career counseling service. Hopefully, that will help. Like you, he did receive some practice interview techniques and as a result, he did buy some nice looking business attire. Good luck to you.

perpetualjon
perpetualjon

True, the more specialized your skills, the more cocky you can be in an interview. But, still, an interview should be a two-way information exchange. They fully expect me to produce information on my background to prove that I am what I say I am. Why not the other way around? I've seen instances time and time again where employers flat-out lie about the job they're listing -either deceptively low hours, payscale, etc. Why not require them to prove the same information?

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

Funny thing is that you're a highly valued individual with a unique perspective for the company. From you - loyalty, blood sweat and tears and at least a Metric Kilo of flesh are all demanded. Until, of course, the CEO and CFO made a big mistake investing some of the company's money in which case you just became a commodity again really quickly. In a Homer Simpson-esque way - if you take it that you are always a commodity you can't be disappointed!!! :)

JamesRL
JamesRL

Telling me what you think I want to hear, and not sounding believable or authentic or a red flag. Tell me about a problem or issue you've had, and include what you've done to overcome it, and I will appreciate the honesty and give you points for working on your problems instead of accepting them. James

russellsc
russellsc

"My worst trait is that I can sometimes be closed-minded to ways of solving problems..." I really like that one, and I'd probably fall out of my chair if a candidate were to actually answer that question so honestly! I've actually gone away from using a direct "worst attribute" type question in favor of these, which always seem to open up a much more honest discussion than I think I would otherwise get: 1) What's the toughest thing you've had to do professionally? 2) If you could take back one career decision, what would it be? The nature of the first question usually gets the candidate talking about a "worst attribute" situation, so I find it an easy way to back into the question without getting an easy answer. And to your comment about openness an honesty sealing the deal - I honestly could not agree more with that assertion!

Owen Glendower
Owen Glendower

"Why is this position open?" If it's open because of company growth or expanding operations, that's a good sign. But the position could be open for a lot of bad reasons, too. "Is anyone within the company being considered for this position?" If so, but if you get the job instead, you will probably have an enemy within the company the day you walk through the door. It happened to me.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Do you have a job description for the role? If they don't assume the worst. Really. James

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

I wrote the first post in an (obviously mis-aimed) shot at humour. I wouldn't really suggest sitting across from someone and say straight out "I don't trust you, fool" as a means of getting ahead in an interview!! But your point about asking for confirmation and proof of statements from your prospective employer is absolutely true. If what they say is genuinely true, I have NEVER had a problem getting access to real proof. Never. It's only when they are stretching the "benefit statements" that the problems begin. Watch for the dodgy eye movement or the hand going to the mouth when you ask!!!

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

... my pathetic attempt at wit. Or the other bloke's response having seen the rest of the stream. Or that right now it is pissing down with rain, the boss's car is stuck in a bog on his farm, and we're all planning what exotic local cafe we're going to for a long lunch. Any of those are good enough reason. :)

JamesRL
JamesRL

Laughing about me being a nice guy? Or the dude trying to take the p!ss out of me for replying to you? James

JamesRL
JamesRL

If you assumed that I've never read caniberich's posts or experienced his attitude before, that would be incorrect. I don't put on a manager attitude. CanIberich has a long standing record here of a provocative style of posts, all I was doing was mirroring his provocative style. I'm actually known by my staff as a nice guy. James

michael.kregel
michael.kregel

"just for fun"....see how riled up managers get?? They think they can put there manager attitude on EVERYONE. You can usually tell who are the managers on the drive to work. :)

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