Uh-Oh! My Interview Is Crashing! | NO BS Job Search Advice Radio

I discuss some a few signals that your interview isn’t going as well as you hoped.



Sometimes you go on an interview they just feel that this is crash and burn time on the interview. I wrote an article many years ago called, "Why Interviews Die." The fact is that on some interviews you just feel like flushing down the toilet. Sometimes, what is happening is they misread something in your resume. Or, they are preoccupied. I thought I would do a show for you then talked about some of the signals that you will get in the course of an interview that lets you know it's just not going right. You may be delivering your lines perfectly , but they are just not paying attention. That's really the starting place. They are not paying attention. They just seem distracted. As a result, you are not getting full attention.

This can happen, for a lot of reasons. One is that work is pulling out from. There is something in their workday that they need to address. The easy way to respond to it is to very simply say, "I can't help but notice that you seem a little distracted. Would it be best if we reschedule for another time?" You may sense it in person or see it in person. You may sense it over the phone. Where you're just not getting their attention. Just offer them the opportunity to reschedule. You'll be amazed at how appreciative they are, or they will simply say, "No! No! That's okay." You'll pull them right back in. Don't ignore it. Just be aware that the interviewer just seems distracted.

Another way that you can recognize a problem is if the interview is a lot shorter than you have been led to believe. I remember when I 1st or recruiting many years ago 1 of my mentors who is nicknamed Swami for reasons I can't remember. Swami told this 1 story about someone he was representing for a firm. 10 minutes after the interview was scheduled to start (and this was a full-time position in New York in the days were phone interviews didn't exist. It was an in person interview. It was a 9 o'clock interview and at 910. The phone rang.

Swami answers the phone. "Hi! How did it go," knowing full well that had gone badly because of how quickly the call. "It went great!" "Really?" "Yeah, you tell me a call right after after the interview , but it's up you little while to find a free payphone..." 10 minutes including the hunt for the payphone. . "I couldn't get one right away so I have to wait outside."

No 10 minute interview is a good one. No 15 minute interview is a good one. In this particular case, of course, the person was not higher. If you have a short interview or a shorter one than the recruiter told you it would be, it did not go well. I don't care what they say ("no, no, no, I got what I needed). That could be code for, "We already chose someone else and didn't have time to reach out to the recruiter to cancel the interview so we gave you a quick courtesy interview and I'm going back to my desk because I've already made an offer and has been accepted." Like I said, it is never good news when the interview is shorter than you have been led to believe.

The next signal that the interview just isn't going well is they don't really ask you any tough questions. I'm not talking about brainteasers; those are tough questions; they are stupid questions. They don't really probe in any depth. You're just getting superficial questions about your work and your responsibilities, instead of the tough ones about the challenges that you faced. No one really probes beyond the superficial.

You always want to feel a certain amount of stress on the interview. It's the stress of facing a tough question that causes you to go into detail about what you did and how you did or what you know about a particular subject. If they don't do it (unless this is an HR interview), even there they can going to detail about what you did and how you went about doing it. Instead of saying, "Tell me about what you did." They are interested if they probe more; they're not interested if they don't probe at all.

Another thing that signals their lack of interest is they don't really take any time to sell the firm or the job to you. If a company is interested, they want to get you interested. As a result, those firms spend some time selling to you. I know of no company unless they are acting stupidly, that doesn't think that selling their opportunity is important. They will ask you if you have any questions. The give you a chance to get some resolution. They will talk with you about your 1st 3 to 6 months after you come on board. They'll talk with you about career path. If they don't do any of those things, they're probably not interested because you don't matter enough to them to sell to you. Recognize that as a signal.

If they don't talk about salary, if there really care what you are earning or what you're looking for, they're probably not interested. After all, there are people who walk into their offices and say, "I earned $40,000 per year and then looking for $90,000 per year." Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. They are going to reject you. If they don't care enough to ask the question to find out about your compensation there is a message in that. Recognize it. If you want to explore, you can simply say, "I couldn't help but notice that you didn't ask about my compensation. Are you curious about that?"

"Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

There are probably distracted and it pulls them back into the conversation.

One last thing I will bring up that is a signal that they are left not interested. They don't really talk about next steps or if you've asked him about it. In the course of your Q&A p where you are asking about the firm and the position, if you've asked about it and you are getting a very cursory answer, then they are not really interested. If they don't talk with you about next steps, there is a message in that. From the their vantage point, you should be worth them taking the time to sell.

Every employer that is interested, when asked, "What our next steps here," if they just say something like, "Well, we'll get back to the recruiter," or, "we'll get back to you in 3 weeks," the thing is crashed and burned. If they are not getting specific with you, they have given you a signal that they are not really interested.

?Understanding the messages that firms given the course of their interviews about how you did, their level of interest... Often it has nothing to do with you. Often, it has everything to do with them and their perception of need. By that, I mean 1 of 2 things – – things have changed with them and they have made an offer or zeroed in on someone or two that they are really interested in and don't feel the need to go into great detail with you because they are going to choose 1 of these 2 people. Maybe you got to them a little bit late and they really do have finalists. There need in their mind has changed in you're not important anymore.

It's certainly possible, they think they made a mistake in inviting you in for an interview. They misread something in your resume or were told something inaccurate by the recruiter. That's a mistake and it has nothing to do with you.

Lastly, you stink up the joint! They are not interested because you said something obnoxious, did something obnoxious or just a wrong answer to many times for them to be interested. If that happens, learn their lessons. Spend a little time and review. Figure out the mistake or mistakes that you made. When you get the rejection email or phone call, just simply asked them, "I understand you went in a different direction. I'm not here to argue or give you a hard time. I just want to learn from the experience. Where did I come up deficient? Where did you see me not being a fit?"

Deficient is a very important term. By asking them about deficiencies, what you're able to do is to get a clear picture as to where the failure was see you can head that off the next time.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.


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