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Job Search Blunders

Ok…I interviewed a guy for an opportunity I had available on my team.  He claimed to be a specialist at his craft and may have been.  The problem I had is I could not get past the BS he was shoveling.  He had a business on the side (for the past 11 years) but had been full time at other companies during the same time.  Something was not right.  In addition, he seemed to job hop a little but not too bad.

So as I dove into his current work experience, I asked him about his clients in his business.  He said to me:  “I make $80k to $90k per year with them currently.”  That prompted me to ask him why he was looking for a full time position that paid much less than that.  His answer was not well thought out and included the phrase:  “I don’t really need to work.  I do it to have fun and gain new experiences.”  This floored me and I almost didn’t know what to say.  He was not the right guy for the job and it was obvious.

So what is the lesson…was he just being honest?  If so, I really should have appreciated it, right?  My gut was telling me he wasn’t though.  He seemed to be just trying to demonstrate he was successful in the craft I was interviewing him for.  But what he got was the person on the other end not being sure if he was telling the truth or not.  So the lesson is to always be honest with your answers BUT don’t paint yourself into a corner and not think ahead on how you will answer obvious questions an interviewer will have based on your background/resume.  You don’t want to be telling the truth but sound like you are lying.  That is a bad combination.

If a hiring authority sees you job hopped ever 18 months for the past six or seven years, of course they are going to wonder if you will just be around for a year or so.  During the interview, be confident and prepared to answer that type of “obvious” questioning so you don’t sound like you are stretching the truth too much.

In addition, if you have run your own business for a number of years, it is imperative you don’t treat an interviewer like someone who is a potential client.  You should instead demonstrate your personality as one who is willing to get in there and do the tough work to get the job YOU ARE INTERVIEWING FOR done.  That type of attitude is what hiring managers are looking for.  They don’t need friends, they need people on their team willing to work hard and provide value to the company.

There are so many more blunders to highlight in a post like this.  They include things like saying “I am a people-person” in a sales interview.  Hiring managers have heard it and it has now become a negative statement when seeking a sales position.  Other blunders include trying to hit-on the interviewer or disrespecting them.  Try to stand out from the other people who the hiring manager will see that day.  Don’t do what everyone else does…but don’t be weird.

Lastly, do your homework on the company you are interviewing at.  If you don’t prepare yourself ahead of time, it will show through in the interview.

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