It’s universally clear that most people’s anxiety levels dramatically increase when they go on a job interview. If you want a job, you have to go on an interview. It’s part of the game. It’s unavoidable. Some people are more comfortable with it than others. Nevertheless, every hire is made based on some sort of interview process. As a recruiter, I speak with candidates throughout the entire process. The interesting phenomenon is the response I get from almost every candidate as I debrief with them about how they felt the interview went. Believe it or not, I really can’t remember the last time someone told me that they bombed in the interview. The unanimous response I hear is, “the interview went well.” So let me pose this question. If everyone feels the interview went so well, why aren’t they hired? You may have even asked yourself that same question as well? You thought the interview went well, so why didn’t you get the job?
When you get to the interview stage of the hiring process, you can safely assume that you have the necessary skill set to do the job. No organization is going to waste their time interviewing anyone they don’t feel can do the job. The initial stage of the hiring process is rather objective. They look at your resume, review your work history, and look for skills required for the job. On the other hand, the interview itself can be pretty subjective. The hard truth is almost any little thing can eliminate you from being hired. You could say the wrong thing and you may not even know it. The hiring manager you may be interviewing with could be a staunch Tigers fan without you knowing and may not appreciate you talking about how great it is that the Giants just won the World Series. Just like that, you could have possibly lost an employment opportunity. People cannot control human nature. We’re all human beings and cannot help the way we feel and view things. We each have our own perspective.
What I’ve realized being entrenched in this industry for well over a decade is that, generally speaking, hiring managers aren’t looking for a reason to hire you. They are looking for a reason not to hire you. They will set you up with questions to take a peek into your psyche. They will make you feel comfortable so you can let your guard down in order to uncover more information about you. And guess what, there’s nothing wrong with that. It is their job to hire the best fit for the position and their organization. No one knows who the best employee is beforehand. You could be the most technically qualified person for the job, but if somehow through the course of the interview it is revealed that your work ethic is questionable; that very well could disqualify you.
Hiring is not an exact science; some may even see it as art. I like to pride myself as an artist when it comes to hiring people. I’ve hired some truly amazing people in my time and many of them are still with me to this day. Did I know for sure that these individuals would turn out to be so great? Of course not! I didn’t hire them because I had some crystal ball telling me that they would be great employees. I hired them because I couldn’t find any reason not to.
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