After interviewing over ten people for a full-time Office Manager’s position, in a very competitive job market, I ended the day preferring a few people who possessed a commanding presence while displaying a tinge of humility. In other words, there is a way to verbalize your competence without sounding arrogant. How can job candidates balance their approach to master a job interview to garner more favor? Here are a few tips, from an experience recruiter, to help you have a better experience: 1. Before the interview: Optimize your resume through simplicity and proper structuring As a recruiter, I have seen many resumes come through my email and desk. The best ones are simple and structured in a way where I can find the information I need very quickly. So simplicity and structuring are great for me as a recruiter; other recruiters maybe different. For example, I have even seen five page resumes crowded with information. These resumes become an eye sore for me perusing page after page for the right information. A resume should be no longer than two pages in length. Clarity and being pithy is king in resume building. Second, by putting every job you ever had on your resume since High School is unnecessary, especially if you have been in the workforce for 20 plus years. Some seem to think that by showing a long list of jobs is actually a positive. I don’t think so! Any job or jobs after ten years can be summarized in one short paragraph, and current jobs can be maximized by short snippets of what you actually accomplished, and how you were recognized and rewarded for your work. And finally, make sure you can be easily found by showing current contact information such as your address, at least two phone (yours and your spouses or significant other), and at least two viable emails are preferable. In addition, by adding a Linkedin profile address, you can be reached more readily through their “messaging” systems. I have passed up good candidates simply because their were not responding to their email or their phone was disconnected. 2. At the Interview: Display your competence by the way you communicate I place a higher value in the way someone communicates over their so called competence, more than by their mere experience on their resume. Don’t misinterpret me, competence is crucial for any role, and recruiters should do their best to get to the bottom line of a person’s capabilities. They best way to get to the bottom line is through the interview process, by simply engaging someone through a series of common and “gothca” questions, where one can see how they respond under surprise and pressure. If a person is able to communicate effectively in an interview, then they are far more competent then those with experience who are unable to get a simple point across without projecting arrogance. Communication is a big factor in the workplace, and without a fearless communicator, a client of mine will have to put forth more energy to connect with this person. Therefore, an employee who supplies short pithy answers with a high level of clarity are better suited for the job, than someone providing long drawn out answers with no substance and meaning whatsoever. 3. Don’t forget, a tinge of humility goes a long way What’s worse, in any interview process, is the arrogance of candidates who say things like, “Oh that’s easy! I can do that in my sleep.” Oh you can, I think to myself, I would like to see that! These type of answers tell me something about the candidate; vague, boring and incompetent. A well thought out answer, even with some communicative missteps, is way better than a short vague answer. When I have the extra time, I tend to coach some of my candidates, and take a big risk doing it, after an interview. For example, if someone interviews badly, I will tend to provide them with some good points about their interview, as well as, the negatives they can improve for the next interview. You can show competence and assurance in an interview, as long as, you can display some humility while doing it. Call to action:
- To grow your vocabulary become a prolific reader. Read different genres, newspapers and magazines. Then make a glossary of words you don’t know and their definition.
- Join a Toastmasters group and learn to communicate effectively.
- Learn to communicate through lots of interaction; networking groups, mixers and family gatherings.
- Finally, learn to evaluate yourself after an interview; even asking the interviewer questions on how to improve. If they have time, they will provide you some tips for improvement.
Joel C. Garcia, CEO at THRIVN