How to Find a Job – Interview…. AND Raise No Red Flags!
Two recent posts have detailed the most memorable and most common mistakes made by people seeking a job while interviewing…the results of a survey done by Career Builder.
The mission of the person interviewing you is to ask both fact-finding as well as behavioral questions and then to determine if you are a possible match for his or her organization and the job in question.
Typically you will have multiple interviews with an organization before getting a job offer. In many cases, they will be with more than one person; expect multiple interviews with multiple interviewers.
Your mission is to make the cut each time; this is a “single elimination” process!!
Some of this is determined through reference and background checks, and perhaps testing, but much of it will come from the verbal back and forth of in-person interviews.
Before an offer can be extended, the interviewer and the organization need to anticipate what they will know for sure after you have been on the job for a few months.
You want to be sure that three things happen as a result of the verbal back and forth of these interviews.
- You answer all questions fully to the satisfaction of the interviewer…AND in doing so, paint the most favorable (but honest) portrait of yourself.
- You fill in the gaps in the interviewer’s battery of questions to make sure all of the positive and favorable aspects of you and your employment history are covered.
- You don’t raise red flags… don’t give the interviewer a reason to screen you out!
We are going to focus on #3 in this post.
As you interview, keep in mind the dynamics facing interviewers and the organizations for whom they work. It is not the hiring of people that gives HR people and CEOs nightmares… it is the “un-hiring” of people that does!
A bad hire that leads to a termination is – at best – troublesome. It will negatively impact co-workers, and perhaps customers. In our litigious society, a bad hire that results in a contested termination can become a disastrous nightmare… lawsuits… huge settlements… tarnished reputations… and the list goes on
Is it no wonder therefore that one of the basic objectives of an interviewer is to screen out potential problem candidates? Yes, their mission is to sell the job and sell the organization to each person they interview, but they also don’t want anyone to slip through the screening process that can become a problem employee and trigger the need to terminate.
That is why you need to be primed to commit no errors that raise red flags. You must demonstrate that you do not have a “chip on your shoulder”, and furthermore, that you are not the kind of person to have one. You don’t want to exhibit those personality characteristics and background history aspects that say “this person could become a problem”.
You need to demonstrate beyond a doubt that you have a teamwork attitude, that you are adaptable to change, that you speak kindly of all.
- Watch your attitude – you must display a positive one. Ask those who know you to tell you true – do you sometime demonstrate a negative attitude? If so, work on it.
- Watch your language and articulation. Don’t be a mumbler that requires questions to understand what you are saying. Don’t speak at a whisper and don’t use your “outdoor” voice. If you are a loud talker, turn the volume down! Purge any slang or lingo that might creep into conversation. And do I need to remind you to NEVER use curse words or coarse language?
- Eliminate any annoying mannerisms… ear-tugging, hair-twirling, knuckle-cracking, etc. Use your hands only for emphasis as you speak!
- You want to be seen as friendly, warm, and congenial. Be sure you pass “The Tulsa Test” (would a total stranger enjoy sitting next to you on a long-distance flight to Tulsa?).
- You want to project that you are a rational, logical and adaptable person and that you understand that the real world is not perfect.
- If you have ever cited an employer – filed an action against an employer – bring it up and explain it thoroughly. If it was discharged as without merit, you have a problem. Sorry about that, but you carry a red flag the size of a blanket on your back. The best you can do is to explain the circumstances and make your case… logically.
- Be yourself… but also project a person that is likeable, realistic, enthusiastic and not argumentative.
OK… now go back and review two recent posts – “Interviewing Blunders” and “Interviewing Mistakes”…and Remember that one of your objectives is to NOT raise any red flags!
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