February 27, 2012 | Filed Under Tips
I haven’t interviewed for a job in over a decade now. But as a business owner, I have done lots of interviewing.
Here are the three things I look for in a potential employee:
1) Past evidence of success (skill competency)
2) Enthusiasm / Intense work-ethic
3) Reliability and consistency
So your task when interviewing for a job is to tactfully display these values.
The easiest value to display is #2 because you can do it right then and there. Just don’t be a goofy tryhard. Enthusiasm can be smart and restrained.
Most employers will put a lot of stock in your past experiences to determine #1 and #3. But as long as you haven’t totally screwed up in the past and changed jobs six times in 8 months, you should be ok. A good employer will call your past employers to verify your claims of accomplishment. But most don’t.
What you need to do is sell yourself. Just like in the mating game of relationships, your value as a potential employee is not self-evident. You have to put your best foot forward. Don’t buy the nonsense about “just being yourself” … nope, that’s really bad advice. Especially if you’re prone to self-deprecate. Never willfully reveal any serious weaknesses during an interview. And if pressed for a weakness try to think of something funny to say as a prelude to something very, very minor… “You know, I’ve gotta say it’s Starbucks. I just can’t work without it. [insert polite laughter... not yours though]. In all seriousness, my biggest weakness is that I’m really focused and task oriented which limits my ability to multi-task.” It’s typical for an interviewer to first ask “What’s the greatest asset you’d bring to the company?” and then follow it up with “And what’s your greatest weakness?”)
The key is to err on the side of restrained confidence without grossly overstating your abilities.
Put yourself in their shoes and then confidently and enthusiastically give them what you think they to want hear. Might take some bullshitting to get there.