Did The Prospect Really Say That?

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While watching a bit of news on TV the other day, a short segment was done for job hunters. The theme of the segment was: “what not to say in the interview.”

Let’s take a look at a few of these:

“I’m really nervous.”

This short and honest statement could produce two very different responses for the employer.

The first is we do like it when our candidates are candid and you don’t get more candid than “I’m really nervous.”

On the other side of that of course is we also want to see confident and capable candidates. If they’re nervous in the interview, what’s going to happen when the workplace throws a few curves at them.

Here’s the next one:

“Let’s talk money.”

Again, I can see two possible reactions on the employer side. Some of us might like this bold approach but some of us might be offended by such a direct statement in a hiring interview.

This next one should not produce any ambiguous feelings:

“My last employer was really horrible.”

Ouch. Complaining this overtly about a previous employer is not likely to produce warm and fuzzy feelings for the new employer. One wonders if the candidate is a bit of a grumbler and will make the same statement a few months down the road about us?

This last one is an interesting one:

“Well, what can your company do for me?” Or worded slightly differently, “Why should I come to work for you?’

Personally, I like a bit of humility with my candidates. Yes, I want them honest, confident, and capable. But if they add a dash of humility to those qualities, that goes a long way with me.

Candidates will at times make statements in the hiring interview that give you a quick insight into their personality. If one of these statements takes you back, you have two choices:

1) Get the candidate to explain more thoroughly what’s behind the statement and hopefully that resolves it for you.


2) Red flag the comment and treat it with due concern.

As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

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