Are you confident or arrogant?
We all love to see confidence in people, particularly in recruitment, but too much of it can be off-putting.
On the job hunt, I appreciate it’s a delicate balancing act. You want to come across as knowledgeable without being a know-all, proactive without being a pest, and confident without seeming arrogant.
I get that it’s tricky because you don’t want to undersell yourself. But in this industry, many people go the other way, letting their ego get the better of them and risk their chances of securing the job they want.
Do you talk too much? Listening can be more powerful than speech
When candidates call me about a job I sometimes have to take a deep breath and brace myself. In some cases I haven’t even had chance to say hello and comment on the weather before people launch into a full-blown self-scripted sales pitch.
Woah, back up the truck! That’s all well and good, but I find the most effective conversations I have with candidates are just that – conversations. The better I can get to know the real you, the better I can describe you to my clients and put you forward for the right roles for you.
The same rationale applies in interviews – listen before you speak. Answer the question you’re being asked and let the interviewer dig deeper if they need to, or move on if they don’t. Try putting yourself in the interviewer’s shoes – they know what they need to find out about you, so allow them to guide the conversation.
No one is perfect, thank goodness
Self-reflection is really important and it will impress your interviewer. The ability to critically look back on a given professional situation, see the things you did well, and the things you would do differently next time is the hallmark of someone that is constantly looking to evolve and improve. Believe me, it will make you stand out.
Be aware of and comment on people you’ve worked with previously and show respect where it is due. Talk about what you’ve learned from managers, peers and even friends and family. No matter how senior or experienced you are, you can always learn from others.
Now while I appreciate being asked to talk about your weaknesses isn’t everyone’s favourite interview question, you shouldn’t try to avoid it. If you’re asked about your weaknesses, be honest and explain what they are, but also take the opportunity to explain how you work to rectify and address them.
And finally, walk the walk as well as you talk the talk.
If issues management is your strength, be ready to drill down on some specific examples to illustrate your ability. We want to know what you actually did, the part you played in the team, and the results you generated.
Like with describing your weaknesses, all of this can be prepared ahead of interviews, so you’re ready to say what the interviewer wants to hear, rather than what you want to say.
Thanks guys, I hope you enjoyed the humble pie.