How To See Past The Interview Clichés

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By: Mary Catania and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software 

Your eyes are glazed over. You pretend that you are paying attention, but all you see are lips moving. It’s the same kind of talk you’ve heard countless times before from nervous interviewers. You ask a poignant interview question, and the candidate skirts the question with a safe and often clichéd response. If you are not wowed now, then your client won’t be later on. As a recruiter, do you know what not to look for in a potential employee?

People who boast about their job skills without providing concrete examples are most likely not telling the truth. Anyone can say they are “hardworking,” and a “team player,” but will these buzz words get you a performance-driven employee? Without providing tangible illustrations of hard work and team play, you will be left with a vague feeling and empty promises. Be direct in your interview questioning; follow up this broad question: “what are your professional traits?” with “please provide examples how you demonstrated this trait.”

Some people may be really good at faking in their interview, but a good recruiter can see past the nonsense and get to the core of a person’s personality and work experience. An authentic and eager candidate will always outshine a boastful and novice one.

Look for honesty rather than the candidate who tells you what they think you want to hear. An honest person is more likely to be engaged in their job and a loyal employee down the road.

Seek confidence versus desperation. A true candidate will be realistic, revealing their talents, but also their limitations. A good employee will want to advance their career, but not sacrifice their life for it. Do you really want an employee who will do absolutely anything to get the job and the paycheck? If a candidate promises you they know it all or can do it all, then be weary. Someone who is open to learning the ins and outs of the position and/or the industry is far more attractive than someone who thinks they are ideal and don’t need to improve at all.

Do you have a bragger on your hands or a people person? A bragger will tell you how much coworkers and bosses love them. A good employee will offer you specifics about how they succeeded in a difficult project. The answer is in the details, not the grandiose statements. A bragger will act overconfident (“Of course you should hire me!”) while a poised candidate will exude humbleness, but also eagerness (“I feel confident that I am qualified to work for you, and would be honored if you hired me.”)

No one candidate is a perfect fit for the job. A good candidate will have most of the qualifications and experience, but also understand that they will have to learn as they go and strive to fit into a new company culture.

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