Interviewing - do you tell them what you think they want to hear?

I was speaking with a client who recently started a new job as an Operations Manager. She is interviewing candidates for a customer service position and had two finalists. One she was quite enthusiastic about and the other had her hemming and hawing. A final question made her decision easy.

She asked of the less impressive candidate "Do you prefer to receive lots of direction or do you prefer to work independently?"

The candidate replied that she liked a lot of direction, liked to know that she was doing the work correctly, and didn't like making mistakes.

My client and I couldn't help but wonder if this interviewee replied in this way because she thought it was what was expected? Because she thought it was what my client, her potential manager, wanted to hear?

As it turns out, that isn't the answer the manager wanted to hear! The position requires a high degree of self-reliance, problem solving, and independent thinking. This candidate did not receive the offer.

I always urge my interview coaching clients to be authentic to themselves. "If you don't like being micro-managed, own it," I would say! 

What would be the point of reassuring a hiring manager that you absolutely love to work in committees when you're a loner by nature and committee deliberations drive you nuts? How successful would you be in a team-driven environment?

Best to be true to yourself and own your strengths rather than dwell on perceived shortcomings. (The world is not composed of 100% team players; I know, as I am one of those loner types who likes to depend on herself to get things done!) And find an employer who values your talents and strengths, needs someone like you - you'll exceed beyond your expectations!

If you need help with your interview skills, New Leaf has an excellent interview strategy coaching session. Supported with an e-book that you will refer to for more than just interviewing, it's an excellent investment in yourself.

- here to support my clients' career goals, Stephanie