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Sunday, July 23, 2017

6 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Job Interviews

How many hours did you spend researching that last car or flat panel tv you bought? How many hours did you spend practicing for your job interviews? We all know that many jobs and perhaps careers are won or lost during the interview process. You have a Great resume, Great cover letter, and Great attire. Win win win. Not so fast. If you did not prepare for the interview this will put you at a competitive disadvantage. So why not prepare? It really is pretty easy. Just requires some practice and time.(Editor's Note)

Lies We Tell Ourselves About Job Interviews
Guest Contributor: Michael Neece, CEO, InterviewMastery.com

I present frequently to groups large (200+) and small on job interview skills, and I am constantly amazed at the harmful lies people tell themselves about job interviews.

Few will argue about the importance of having a great resume; after all, it is the resume that generates job interviews. But nearly all job seekers minimize the importance of their own job interview skills. Minimizing the importance of interview skills reduces the probability of getting the job offer because it is only through an exceptional job interview performance that you'll get hired.

17-to-one is the ratio of job interviews to job offers during a recession. During a recession, the average applicant will interview for 17 different opportunities before he/she gets one job offer. When job openings are plentiful and candidates are in high demand, the ratio drops to 6-to-1, meaning it takes only 6 interviews to get an offer during the good times. The lesson here is that without interview skills, you'll waste 6 to 17 job opportunities before you get good enough at interviews to get an offer. (Article Continued Below)

Below are six lies (assumptions) we tell ourselves about job interviews:
"I'll do great on my job interviews because…"

1. I'm Great at My Job.
The skills required to get the job are fundamentally different from the skills required to do a job. If you have ever looked for a job you know this all too well.

2. I'm a Good Communicator
Being a good communicator is a good start, but most of our business communicating is one-on-one or in a setting where you are talking about work. During the job interview, you are often speaking with multiple interviewers and responding to thought-provoking questions about you and your talents. Convincing an interviewer of your abilities is a unique situation in the world of business communications.

3. I've Interviewed Hundreds of People
Being an interviewer is different from being interviewed. Just ask anyone who has been interviewed recently. I consult internationally to organizations on interviewer skills. I also present to thousands each year on job interviewing for the job seeker. While the interviewer and the interviewee are in the same room, each is playing a different role that requires different skills to be successful. It's a bit like dancing. One person leads while the other follows. The skills to lead are very different from the talents needed to follow. When each partner does his/her part, they dance beautifully. When the job applicant has the skills, he/she facilitates a conversation and usually gets the offer.

4. I've Had Many Practice Interviews
Learning by trial and error can teach you a few things about effective interviewing, but it wastes a lot of great job opportunities. Besides, practicing the same unproductive job interview ritual will only make you comfortable with ineffective habits that can really hurt your career.

5. Interviewers Have Interviewing Skills
Having traveled internationally to train interviewers, I can state with certainty that over 95% of interviewers are unskilled and have had no training on effective interviewing. That is exactly why interviewers still ask totally irrelevant and bogus questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” When an interviewer asks you one of these questions, you know they are completely unskilled at interviewing.

6. The Most Qualified, Get Hired Most of the Time
Eleven years as a recruiter taught me one truth about the job market: the most qualified person never gets hired. The reason is that who is the most qualified is a matter of interviewer opinions, assumptions, and personal bias. Additionally, a job description is actually a collection of guesses as to what the prerequisites are for a specific job. A job description is a way for the hiring manager to say, “I want to hire someone who has already done, many times, what I want him or her to do for me.”

To secure a great job, you can either continue lying to yourself and go through 17 interviews before you get an offer, or you can invest the energy to learn successful job interviewing and significantly increase your odds of getting a great job sooner.

Whether you try Interview Mastery or another job interview program is irrelevant. What really matters, is that you improve your interview skills. Common advice is everywhere on the Internet, but this common wisdom will only get you common results.

If you don't want to invest any money in yourself, at least make a list of the interview questions you expect and those that you fear. Then ask a former colleague to mock interview you using the questions you listed. Record the mock interview using audio or video. You may be surprised at how you actually sound.Remember, the job interview is the most important moment in your job search and in your career.

While your resume may get you to the interview, it is your job interview skills that will secure the job offer. Preparation and practice make all the difference in your performance because the most qualified person rarely gets the job. It's the person who interviews the best who wins the job offer.

Good luck on your next interview. You're going to be awesome!

Do you need to improve your interview skills? Learn More Here.



    1. If 17-1 is the ratio during a recession, then i have only three and a half years of interviewing to go! four interviews in 13 months!!

    2. where did you pull those ratios from? Is that your send out to placement ratio for your firm?

    3. I totally disagree with your thinking about the interview question "Tell me about yourself". By asking this question at the beginning of the interview I can get a feel for what is important to the candidate, if they have given any thought to the question, have come prepared for the interview and more. It also allows the interviewee a chance to talk freely about themselves which often eleminates some of their nervousness.

    4. I wonder if this ratio applies to 17 different jobs or the number of interviews it actually takes to secure one position these days. One of my colleagues went to an out of town location FIVE TIMES. He finally told them he would not go to a sixth one unless it would be the final one. Twenty years ago when I last looked, I interviewed five people in one day and pretty much had it nailed at the end of the day. Not so for 2010.

    5. This is an excellent article. I've read it and shared it to my friends.

      To be honest, the "Tell me about yourself" question is just an interview question to check if you are good in communication.

    6. If the question "What are your strengths and weaknesses" is not good...then what or how should they re-phrase the question?? What would make it more valid??

    7. Instead of "What are your strengths and weaknesses" you can ask. "Tell me an example or situation where you achieved a significant objective at your last job? What did you specifically do? This can tell you more then an simple question like "strengths and weaknesses".

    8. I love the stat 17:1, ouch! The best way to change the ratio is to prepare for the interview by practicing your answers and being confident and positive at every face to face opportunity. Funny how most people will spend hours researching which is the best flat screen to buy, but for a job they walk in with nothing but a smile and hope they answer the questions correctly and get out before the interviewer figures out they have no idea what they're talking about. Thanks for clear perspective.

    9. I cannot agree with the general statement made that, "the most qualified candidate never gets hired". The best qualified and best fitting candidate usually gets hired, particularly in situations where recruiters and hiring managers are well trained in the art of interviewing for the best fit in a candidate for the job and work culture at hand.

      I would, however, agree that the most qualified candidate does not usually get hired in situations where the recruiter(s) and hiring manager(s) are essentially not qualified to be conducting employment interviews. Their biases will dominate their hiring decisions.

      And I'm not suggesting that well trained hiring managers and recruiters do not have their professional biases...we all do--but effective interview training will address such biases and effectively put interviewers on notice that violating fair employment practices comes with negative consequences...including termination and legal liabilities.

    10. 17-to-1? That's certainly not even close to the experience of my clients - if that's your own experience, you need to seriously re-examine what you are doing.

      - Are you interviewing for the right job type / level?
      - Are you over-relying on Internet job search?
      - Is your resume a strong sales brochure for your candidacy?
      - Are you doing everything you can to make yourself a known quantity to potential hiring managers? Particularly once you have an interview?
      - Do you have strong references, and are you making the most effective possible use of them?
      - Are you focusing on the 2 most key aspects of the interview - building rapport and digging deeply into the interviewer's challenges?
      - Are you making the mistake of saving up your questions for the end of the interview?
      - Have you done several hours of role play with expert interviewers, and taken seriously all of their critique on your interview techniques?
      - Do you have at least 20 concise, compelling, results-oriented accomplishment stories?
      - Do your stories demonstrate all of the key skills, qualities, and types of expertise required for the job?

      Obviously there are many more questions you could ask yourself to dig into what's going wrong. For more information on this, see:



    11. To be honest, the "Tell me about yourself" question is just an interview question to check if you are good in communication.

    12. Wow...I have to disagree to most comments here...because read again this time carefully:
      1- In the beginning the article says: The lesson here is that without interview skills, you'll waste 6 to 17 job opportunities before you get good enough at interviews to get an offer. (Article Continued Below)
      2- again at the end it says:
      Preparation and practice make all the difference in your performance because the most qualified person rarely gets the job. It's the person who interviews the best who wins the job offer.
      So why do you all disagree with the numberonly to go on saying with preparation these numbers are wrong when the article says the same thing?
      3-Tell me about yourself: what the heck of question is that...(I am too lazy to come up with a precise question..I am not prepared) 95% of the time I find out they neverread my resume butthehiring manager or HR asked them to conduct interview to get one more opinion(even if it is forced and uninformed) so here he/she is...I politely refer them to line X of my resume where the info is to show them I know you did not read my resume...It is all a sell job but these days it is also are you the race, color I think I want to work with and my pre-conceived notions of your type, race, etc.
      Diversity in work place is all talk...not enforced...USA not playing to its strenghts...the unqualified folks with connections got USA here and are still in office for the rebuilding it...the solution is as another comment also said fair employmnet/interview best candidate Mr. / Mrs. HR person

    13. Fascinating and daunting statistics. No matter how well you believe you interview, you do need to practice beforehand. Investing in a proven interview coach may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, not being hired, because of poor interview skills, is far worse. A certified coach will know what questions are most likely to be asked for your industry and the position you're seeking. You'll learn how you come off to strangers (too cocky, too timid, evasive, uncertain what to say next, etc.). Hiring a certified interview coach is money well spent especially in this tight job market.

      Darlene Zambruski
      ResumeEdge.com, JobInterviewEdge.com Managing Editor
      CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer)


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