How do you act when you go in for an interview? Do you talk too much or too little? Do you seem passionate and enthusiastic? Do you stay focused? Read on and see if any of these characters seem a little too familiar.
Chatty Cathy: This job seeker talks on and on. Why answer a question in thirty seconds if you can take five minutes? If you ask her about her day, she will give you her life story.
One-Word Answer Anthony: The cousin of Chatty Cathy, this job seeker keeps his mouth shut. It is like pulling teeth to try to get him to provide any details.
Vague Vicky: Vicky makes a lot of general statements, but does not provide any details. She’ll tell you that she has excellent conflict management skills, but she will never give you an example.
Rehearsed Ricky: Ricky has practiced a lot- and it shows. All of his answers are straight from the book. Unfortunately, they don’t give any insight into who he really is.
Sloppy Steve: Steve is unkempt and underdressed. His hair is messy, his shoes aren’t shined, and he often shows up late. And yes- that is spinach in his teeth.
Negative Nancy: Her last job was difficult, and her manager was unreasonable. Her coworkers ganged up on her and the commute was terrible. Negative Nancy sees the bad side of everything. You see a sunny day, and Nancy sees a sunburn.
Defensive Dan: Dan does not like challenging questions. He will proclaim that he has no weaknesses, and he has never had a workplace conflict. If you push him on the issue, he starts to squirm.
Example Binder Eric: Eric LOVES to show off his portfolio. The interview has barely started and Eric already has the employer leafing through his example binder. And it’s not just work samples- his portfolio is complete with his kindergarten diploma and his grade school artwork.
Never Answers the Question Nick: It takes a skilled professional to get an actual answer out of Nick. If you ask him about his management experience, he’ll tell you about his vacation to Europe. If you ask him about his weaknesses, he’ll tell you about his pet turtle. If you need some information from Nick, ask him a completely different question and maybe you’ll get lucky.
Not Interested Neil: Neil is not overly excited about this interview. As a matter of fact, the employer is lucky that he showed up at all. He will sit at the interview with his arms crossed, and will answer the employer’s questions without showing any enthusiasm. Just make sure that the interview doesn’t run too long- he has a lunch date.
Do any of these descriptions sound like you? If so, it might be time to change your behaviour. Otherwise, you may find that you have become Always-Unemployed Alan.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)