The Interview Process:
First, realize that the interview is not about you!—Second, quickly figure out what the interview is really about! The process serves many purposes that many may not think. It appeals to the five senses in the following ways:
It acts as a visual aid, (so the company can “see” what they are getting)
- It acts as a hearing aid, (to see how one speaks and communicates)
- It acts as a point of physical contact (a touching aid, an interactive devise of sorts e.g. the handshake, eye contact)
- It acts as a smelling device and sniffs out foul/unbecoming behavioral tendencies, scents or aromas.
- It allows one to develop a sense of taste that allegedly weeds out and senses the “so-called” bad seeds, but seemingly more oftentimes weeds out the good ones.
One big problem with the interview process is that, all too often not only are most of those who conduct the interviews unqualified, many are too self-doubting and insecure to do so, at a time when Human Resource Departments are falling by the wayside and placement agencies are taken over.
Try to realize that any one of the below positives can be considered a negative or a minus, if these positive qualities are not first “owned” by or a characteristic which the interviewer possesses:
- Speaks well
- Dresses well
- Thinks independently
- Is opinionated (May push back against management)
- Seems joyous (can’t be taken seriously)
- Exudes confidence
- Shows honesty
People tend to hire people in their own image! Intellectual mediocre people tend to hire people less intelligent than they, insecure people, unattractive, overweight, blond-haired, blue-eyed, well-dressed, soft-spoken, smart, and the list goes on. You may have to hide the non-visual sides of you that the interviewer does not possess, e.g. confidence: If you are confident and they aren’t, you may benefit by suppressing your confidence level until your level is within their comfort zone.
The Interview really is more about the interviewer than the interviewee. Why—might you ask? Simply because you may have the perfect skill-set, look, communication skills and attitude…hell and you may even smell good, but this is not what gets you hired. What gets you hired is the self-esteem, or lack thereof, of the person interviewing you, their confidence level, not in you, but in themselves. Remember, depending on their position, they may see you as a competitor [someone who could “take their job”] not as an asset, comrade or as complimentary to their cause.
What they often are seeking in many instances is someone who will “play the game,” willing to brown-nose, conform to established corporate norms; someone who is malleable into whatever they have deemed to meet their needs. An unpleasant truth for sure, but why do you think Corporate America has become so unhappy for so many.
In any event, remember that the interview is not about you!—but instead how well you can please and manipulate the true you to conform to the needs, idiosyncrasies and self-esteem of the interviewer (s). Good Luck on your next interview.