Interview Tips: Can there be a fresh perspective?

Recruiter blogs are filled with ‘trade secret tips’ on how to ACE your next interview.

*Wear a suit!       *Don’t speak negatively about past employer!

Send a thank you note!        *Bring three copies of your resume!

I’m having a little fun here, but I think you get the idea…  Every ‘interview tips’ blog or article written these days seem to be the same recycled content.  Don’t get me wrong, interview prep is big deal and you should be researching to find ways to get better at interviewing.   It just seems that everyone is doing a cut and paste of the same 20 year old interview tactics.   Enjoy this true interview story and our take on modern interviewing.

True Interview Story:  Plant Manager role; 800 person facility.  The pay was ~ 145K base and a healthy bonus.  LEAN experience was crucial and our candidate had a black belt and ‘turn around’ experience with two plants in the automotive industry…

As they set up the interview conference room for the final interview, which had a direct view to the patio where he ‘regrouped’, our candidate lit a cigarette to calm his nerves.   In hindsight, the panel members who watched all agreed that breaking for a quick smoke might have been acceptable, but having to wait through 3 over the course of 20 minutes while they watched him make a call from his CELL PHONE was a bit more than they could overlook.  Ugh.

Take Away:  Besides quitting smoking (it’s very unhealthy!!), there are a couple of things to read between the lines on here:

  • Go in hungry.   Employers these days are pickier than ever.   It seems everyone is willing to wait an extra month or two to make sure they get the right person.  It’s too costly to fire/replace and most companies actually think there are just “A” talent candidates out there on the sidelines waiting for a job.  Your skill set alone is NOT GOOD ENOUGH anymore.
  • Find out the culture of the company!  Everyone preps for the skill match, but find out from your recruiter the CULTURE of the company.   If it’s a smaller or family owned company, you will need to wear many hats and not be afraid to get your hands dirty.  If it’s a big Tier 1 supplier, you need to be able to work in a high-demand, hectic environment with the ability to delegate.

Everything in life is situational and you must be able to adapt.  Whatever the company, do not rant or be long winded (always a deal killer) and be comfortable in your own skin.  Don’t be fake.  Top companies want real people who can be self aware enough to laugh at themselves, while still striving to improve their faults.    Own your outcomes!

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