Brutally honest advice for your next job interview from your next hiring manager

Disclaimer 1: This article is an expression of my own personal opinions.

Disclaimer 2: In case this text “hurts” your “feelings”, deal with it.

Disclaimer 3: This is not an instruction for you to “nail any job interview”. Let’s face it – in case you need such a guide, you’re not the best match for the job. There is a hope out there that you can fake it till you make it. To be real, applying for a demanding position you’ll have to fake it up to the point where you are almost making it. And that beats the entire idea of faking it in the first place.

Intro: Recruiting is hard. For both sides. Even if HR is very helpful and is there for you, it’s still time consuming, energy draining, risk taking business. I’m saying this because I’m hiring manager now and it all comes down to my responsibility at the end. The person I’m hiring must be Mr/Ms. Right. On another side, there’s you, our new star on the enterprise sky (or, at least, how we would like to think about it). You’re taking some risks as well. That’s why I’m suggesting honest discussion. Honesty is foundation for the risk management we are trying to do here.

So, here’s 4 honest advice for our next meeting.

  1. It’s ok if you have changed jobs relatively many times.

Keyword is RELATIVELY. 

Recruiters have a term – “resilience”. Meaning it’s good when you’re capable of staying with the same company for a long period of time. Some suggesting that it should be at least 3 years. If you do it, you are considered to be “resilient” person who’s more likely to stay when hard times come. On another side they don’t tell you how to assess what the company itself is likely be doing when things are not going the right direction. The usual move is a layoff, data suggests.

Take a look at LinkedIn profiles of these recruiters just to check their level of “resilience” and you can be surprised. That’s is not because they don’t put their money where their words are, of course. That’s because they’ve learned something and become smarter.

Another reason you shouldn’t bother staying in the workforce is bad management, for example, when entire situation is abusive. It’s stupid to show “resilience” in a toxic environment. In case you do so for too long, it raises questions in my head. That is simply because I want to work with clever ones. 

2. Show that you understand what it takes.

You did your homework before you came in, right? Your understanding of what’s needed for the position is important for me. Of course, I have plans for your career for the time you are going to stay on-board with us. Do you? In that case tell me what skills, behaviors and mindset you think are useful for the position. It’s ok if you don’t have everything in yourself. The keyword here is UNDERSTANDING.

3. Don’t think I can magically guess your good sides – tell me about them.

Have control over what you are communicating out. Give me the entire picture of yourself. I’m very interested in something bold, brave, unusual, cool you’ve done in your life. Remember I’m getting only as much information as you are giving out. Be as direct as you can and simply carry on – it’s my job to distinguish where you are “exaggerating tiny bit”. Totally fine to exaggerate “a bit” to a point where you still can manage the course and not oversell yourself. Keyword: GIVE.

4. Hide only those things you’re sure I cannot find.

We all are hiding something. And that’s ok. Have a life, do your mistakes. Everybody needs that. Just don’t mention anything you don’t want to draw my attention to. I will be researching you. That’s why I suggest you do it yourself in advance and assess your public appearance on social media or online in general. Maybe, there’s something you’ll have to speak about up-front? Look at how politicians are burning themselves. One Prime Minister of a nice Scandinavian country had built his entire career on fighting tax frauds and was doing quite well. Then Panama papers leaked out… You get the point. Key word: SELF-PICTURE.

Outro: There is no.

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See you next time.

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