Thursday, 07 April 2016 08:01

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Interviewing


The interviewing process is often a daunting endeavor for job seekers. There can be immense pressure to perform well, and that pressure often leads to making mistakes that cost you the job.

Make sure you don’t commit one of these seven deadly sins of interviewing, and you’ll find yourself in right standing with future employers.


1. Be Arrogant


The line between confidence and arrogance is a tricky one, but it’s important to get it right. Confidence lets interviewers know that you’re capable of handling responsibility and leadership well. Arrogance lets them know that you’re a jerk. And who wants to work with an arrogant jerk?

Interviewing tip: Discuss your strengths in the context of how they can help the company, not in the context of how awesome they make you.


2. Ask About Money


I have learned over the years that there is a time and a place for discussing benefits and salary. Learning the art of timing can make the difference in getting the job or not. If your first question in the interview is about salary or time off, you can go ahead and assume you didn’t get the job. First and even second interviews should be focused on the ideas and skills you bring to the table and culture fit between you and the organization.

Interviewing tip: As you answer questions, articulate what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.


3. Lust (for power)


If there is one change I have noticed in the entrepreneurial community over the last decade, it’s that businesses want team players and creative innovators. The organizational structure of entrepreneurial companies has flattened and continues to do so. Gone are the days of working your way up a corporate ladder. Especially with entrepreneurs, humility and a willingness to do “other duties as necessary” is seen as a golden (and necessary) quality. If you come into an interview asking about job titles, organizational hierarchy, and career development paths, you are digging yourself a grave.

Interviewing tip: Practice your interview ahead of time and have someone do a word count between the words “I” and “we.” Make sure the “we’s” outnumber the “I’s” before interviewing.


4. Have A Bad Temper


While never ideal, toxic situations happen. That’s understandable. But if you spend the interview slandering your last boss, your last team, and your last work environment, you’re giving the interviewer a red flag that you might be carrying a toxic attitude with you to the new role. Stay positive. Be solution-oriented and avoid a victim mentality. If you come into an interview with an axe to grind or unresolved issues with a previous work experience, the room will quickly be turned off to you and your story.

Interviewing tip: When asked about a difficult boss or work situation (which you likely will be asked), begin and end with what you learned about yourself in the situation. Make the conversation about your desire to improve and never about pointing a finger at others.

The old saying “You only get one chance to make a first impression” is still true. People cannot hire you based on looks, but the truth is, the way you present yourself visually matters. That means the formatting for your resume, dressing appropriately, and being put together. Do you care for yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually? One of our values at Vanderbloemen Search Group is Stewardship of Life, because we want to help our people care for themselves and their family. Are you a well-balanced person? It’s difficult for an entrepreneur to believe you will take care of her company if you’re not taking care of yourself.

Interview tip: Make sure your resume is simple and elegant. Dress ¼ step ahead of the office culture you sense from the place you are interviewing.


6. Show Envy


Few things are as big of a turn-off as a candidate with a victim mentality. Make sure you don’t come across as envious of the successes, ideas, or skills of others. In an interview, celebrate those who have helped you get to where you are. Praise bosses and coworkers. Give credit to others. Displaying gratitude in front of potential employers will show that you can add value to any team. Who doesn’t want to work with a person who is positive and grateful?

Interview tip: Be sure to tell stories about your team getting a win and lift up someone lower than you in the company as you tell the story.


7. Be Lazy


Laid back interviews are sometimes better than being overly aggressive. But, if you’re interviewing with an entrepreneur, be ready for a high energy interaction. As someone who has built a company from the ground up, I can say that I’d rather deal with all six of the previous mistakes rather than deal with someone who is lazy. Growing a business is a high octane endeavor, and if you don’t want to work hard, consider something else. Show yourself as a self-driven and self-motivated leader, and you’ll cultivate a sense of confidence and assurance in the room and draw entrepreneurs to you.




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