Our latest blog featured a simple preparation technique that will help increase your effectiveness in an interview (see: Interviewing: Before that Big Interview… Interview Yourself). Now, let us take a closer look at what the interviewer might have on his or her mind so as to better address unexpressed concerns during your meeting(s).
A universal concern shared by hiring managers is something we’ll call: ‘the trade’. They have a problem; they need a certain function performed by a qualified individual. You have been selected for an interview with this very busy person because your resume suggests you have the necessary qualifications for the job. [‘The Trade’: your services for membership into their organization, with all its advantages… salary, benefits, PTO, prestige, training, etc.]
But something goes wrong…you don’t get the job. Why, what went wrong? I can do the job, why didn’t they see that. Well, it could be a lot of things, many of which are out of your control. One thing that is fully in your control is your approach. The interviewer may be detecting one or more signals that ‘the trade’, will not be good for their company. A fundamental equation is not balanced.
What is really going through the interviewer’s mind are thoughts like: Will he or she fit with my team? Will they be discrete? Will they add negativity, or will they be a positive agent? How do they accept change? Will they anticipate needs, or will I have to assign every task? As my boss succinctly puts it: “Is their glass half full or half empty?”
You may be mostly or fully qualified to do the job. So, if you are not getting hired, it may be time to take a good look in the mirror.
“Are you going into the interview with a fully positive attitude? Are you going in with a positive perspective about what has happened to you in the past? Are you conveying a pleasant, upbeat attitude? Do you seem to be a happy person?”
If not, you may be triggering warning lights that the equation is out of balance: The company + you does not = success. The interviewer asks, “Am I solving one problem, but creating a whole additional set of problems by hiring this person?”
Trust me; it takes little to trigger ‘imbalance concerns’ these days; sometimes a mere hint or suggestion can throw your candidacy into the red. The best way to avoid it is to stay relentlessly positive and completely focused on the needs of the hiring manager and his/her team. Be present to them; express a desire to solve the challenges placed in front of you without bringing your problems or negativity to the table (or to the job after you get hired).
Charity starts at home and extends to the office. Make up your mind to remain focused on helping others and being a positive influence. You’ll be a more effective interviewer, teammate and employed for your trouble.