Scoring a job interview can be hard work, so you don’t want to waste the opportunity. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, sometimes the interview can go off track and before you know it, things didn’t go as well as you had hoped.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Sometimes there are subtle signs during the job interview that things aren’t going well that you can pick up in time to potentially turn things around.
Here are some of the signs you should look for…
The Interviewer Doesn’t Try To Sell You On The Company
Have you ever heard the expression, “An interview is about you trying to get to know the company just as much as they’re trying to get to know you”? It’s true. You should be evaluating the company as they’re evaluating your experience and skills.
But, if you’re doing this and the interviewer isn’t working hard to sell you on the company’s good traits, it’s probably not a good sign.
You’re Only Asked Easy Questions
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, if the company likes you, why would they ask you challenging questions? But interviewers ask tough questions to candidates they’re considering because they want to see how they think on their feet and will react to tough job situations.
If they aren’t actually considering you, they’ll stick with the easiest questions to answer.
The Interview Never Gets Personal
When interviewers are interested in a candidate, they will attempt to get to know them on a deeper level than questions like “What are your strengths?” can accomplish. They will often engage in chit-chat to make sure you’d be a good culture fit and to make sure your personality will mesh well with other team members.
If questions stay surface-level, there aren’t follow-up questions based on your answers, and the interviewer is cut and dried instead of diving into more personal questions, you’re probably not a top candidate.
There’s No Mention Of Next Steps
Typically, at some point in the second half of the interview, the hiring manager will bring up salary expectations, references, or follow-up interviews. Even if they don’t do this, they’ll at least tell you at what point you should hear back about moving forward with your candidacy, or the estimated time by which they’re trying to fill the position.
But if an interview ends without a discussion about what the next steps in the process are, it probably means there won’t be any.
3 Ways To Turn Your Interview Around
So, what can you do if you start seeing some of these signs throughout the interview? There’s a chance that you may not be able to turn it around if the interviewer has already made up their mindâbut there are a few tactics you can employ to give yourself the best shot.
Stay positive – Remember that there’s a good chance the interviewer is having a busy day, has a million other things on their mind, or just doesn’t have a very friendly or engaging personality. By projecting confidence and positivity, you have a chance to turn around their first impression.
Ask great questions – This approach has two potential benefits. One is that you can ask the interviewer outright if they think you’d be a good fit for the roleâthat way, if they bring up a specific concern they have with you or your experience, you have the chance to address it. Second, many recruiters and interviewers find that the type of questions a candidate asks says a lot about them. By asking insightful, thought-provoking questions, you may be able to increase the interviewer’s positive perception of you.
Think of it as practice – Even if you feel pretty confident that you won’t get the job based on these signs, you can at least view the interview as good practice for a job that’s a better fit for you. Try your best, and make a mental note of what you can improve next time.
Interviews are difficult, and no one likes knowing that their conversation isn’t going as well as they’d like. But by employing these tactics, you can have a better sense of what your interviewer is thinking and attempt to course-correct to get the job.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
There is one thing you can do that increases your chances of being hired: get referred for a job. Referred candidates are more likely to get hired, perform better and last longer in jobs. This is why companies, large and small, are investing in employee referral programs (ERPs). It makes good business sense for them […]
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Like any other conversation, a job interview is a two-way street. It’s as much about how well you listen as it is about what you say. And there’s more to listening than simply hearing another person’s words.
How interviewers sit, how they ask their questions, and what they do while listening to your answers can tell you an awful lot about the direction the interview is taking.
Of course, during a job interview, the hiring manager is in the driver’s seat, so it’s critical that you’re able to read their cues. There are some general ways to figure out whether someone’s paying attention to you or not. Are they making eye contact? Leaning forward as you speak? Nodding their head? All good things. But often the message someone conveys is contained in ways that are more subtle.
Here are three things to “listen” for during the job interview…
Listen For The Hidden Question
No job interview question is simple. In every case, the employer is looking not only for insights into your skills and experience, but also for hints about how your thought process works, how committed you’ll be to your job, and how well you’ll fit into the company’s culture. Keep that in mind as you listen to each question.
If a hiring manager asks you to describe a time you met an aggressive deadline, for instance, they’re also trying to get a feel for how well you work under pressure and how you work with others under less-than-ideal circumstances. It’s not simply a question about nuts and bolts.
So, don’t limit your answer to the obvious. Remember that during job interviews, explaining how you got to a particular point can be as important as showing that you got there in the first place.
Listen To Get Their Attention
Obviously, you want to keep the manager’s attention during the job interview. Even if they’re one of those people who constantly check their cell phone while they talk, you can pick up hints about whether they’re engaged in the conversation.
The most obvious clue is whether they’re doing more than simply asking questions. A true dialogue is more than a Q&A. It involves stories, comments, and answersâfrom both sides.
If the hiring manager seems to be following a script, break up his or her routine by asking questions yourself. For example, after answering that query about meeting deadlines, ask if the hiring manager’s ever been in a similar situation, or whether you can expect to face tight deadlines as a part of the job at his company. If they ask for your opinion on a recent industry news event, inquire about their views after you’ve given them your own.
You want the interview to be a true conversation. A hiring manager is more apt to remember the candidate they engaged with than those who simply allowed themselves to be led through their checklist of questions.
Listen To Keep Them Focused
Pay attention to signs that you’re losing your audience whenever you need more than a few sentences to answer a question. Some clues are obvious. The hiring manager’s eyes may wander, for example. Others are more subtle. Someone who’s been sitting forward may shift and begin rubbing the arm of their chair with their fingers.
Picking up on someone’s wandering attention will depend a lot on how well you read them. People differ, after all. A hiring manager who’s comfortable multitasking may be carrying on an engaged conversation even if they’re checking their email while they talk.
The trick is to look for signs that the rhythm has been broken. For example, if the multitasker allows pauses to creep into the conversation while they absorb an email message, chances are you need to refocus their attention.
Though the hiring manager asks the questions during an interview, the job seeker has plenty of opportunities to direct the conversation. Always be on the lookout for hints about the interviewer’s interests and engagement. You’ll find them in what they do, as well as in what they say.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
There are three mutuals you need to have with your employer, and if you don’t have them, then you could find yourself in more than a few situations where you’re really unhappy, especially when interest rates, inflation, and cost of living are up, salaries are going down, turnover is crazy, and everyone’s frustrated.
You want to have three mutuals with an employer because that will allow you to build a solid partnership (not a relationshipâyou should never treat employers like friends or family!). Here are the three mutuals you should live and die by in your career, and why they’re so important…
Trust, Respect, And Benefit: 3 Mutuals For A True Partnership
The first mutual you need with your employer is trust. The second mutual is respect. And the third mutual is benefit.
When you have mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual benefit, you have a true partnership, not a relationship. They’re not your friends. They’re not your family. You have a true and equitable partnership, and that is what you’re always striving for.
Now, if you’re sitting in this partnership and all of a sudden one day something feels off or you’re not happy, take a step back and ask yourself, “What’s changed?”
- Did the trust factor change?
- Did the respect factor change?
- Did the benefit factor change?
Be honest with yourself. Then, if you can identify what it is, have a conversation with your boss and talk about how the mutual trust was broken or the mutual respect was broken or the mutual benefit was broken. Calmly and rationally talk about how you can get it back on track to an equitable partnership. And if you can’t, then guess what? You know it’s time for you to go find your next partnership (your next job). No hard feelings. You gave it a try. You tried to fix the partnership. The partnership didn’t work. You’re moving on.
When I coach Work It DAILY members, they learn to take the emotion out of this situation. They look at the partnership. They build an equitable partnership. They nurture that partnership. And if for some reason it changes, they try to fix it. And if it doesn’t get fixed, they go find a new partnership.
If you adopt this mindset in your career, your career will change for the better. You will have so much more power over your career success. But let me let you in on a little secret. You don’t just naturally get there. You don’t just set out and go, “Okay, from now on, I’m just going to hold out until I get one of these partnerships with the three mutuals.” You need to put in the work. You need to change your approach to job search. You need to know your unique value add. You have to put in the time to completely shift yourself from being an employee who feels like they have golden handcuffs on to being a business-of-one who knows how to run their business-of-one and get the trust, respect, and benefit they want and deserve.
You do not need to be a victim. You can be the hero of your career story. And it starts with building that partnership with your employer. It starts with mutual trust, respect, and benefit.
Good luck, and go get ’em!
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