What has Ego to do with job interviews ?

I accidentally found some notes about my former job interviews ordering my house and reading them I decided to write about EGO, that huge boycotts in job interviews. Let us see some examples of how much influence ego or superb attitude can have in job interviews.

One of the most clear examples of Ego is in the attitude towards the interviewers. How do egocentric people behave? Very simple, they will look at the personal cards given try to order them by importance and concentrate in listen and look, specially look, to the eyes of the highest Manager/director. This attitude can be interpreted positively by some Management that take their own decisions and can be a NoGo for Management that leave decision to the “future direct reporting manager”, that simply like to meet candidates. In the first case, if the final director takes a decision to hire someone who wilfully ignored the direct reporting manager, there are high chances of difficult starts and candidate can be left to ostracism at the beginning of joining the company .

Second example of Ego can be seen in the area of interest for a company, or to say, when the candidate is left to show interest for the position. Are you asking the right questions to the right persons? For example, I find many candidates (even myself as candidate in the past) asking for questions that show your knowledge instead of interest.  I remember myself asking in an interview: “I have read in the web that  you are  working with that products?” answer was “Yes of course  we work”,  now thinking about that, where is the interest of the question?. Remember you have maximum one hour to be with a candidate show interest and specially ask the right questions. Asking for questions that you already know an answer, limits you to get in contact and obtain knowledge in areas that you would have to face, or even worst, not knowing things that would be a NoGo to enter that company. Be humble and just ask for information.

Behave like your position. Important. You are a Managing director. Spend some time explaining the position, make it easier to understand your candidate the position, even if HHRR have already done that. Do not start to give orders and ask questions. Make the person interviewed to be in comfort, loose pressure from the interview by listening to the position and explanations, and the more you release the pressure and create a nice atmosphere the more information you would obtain from your candidate. The iceberg is applicable here, if we speak only about the weather, we all loose one hour of our life and we do not dig into the hidden part of the iceberg. Talent is there, just search for it.

Behave again like your position. Do not interrupt candidates to fine tune their comments, to explain how things are or should be done. Interviews are not audits, to say, you are not interviewed, leave it to candidate to show the knowledge even you might have more. I remember one job interview that the future director spent less than 40 minutes with me. Considering the preparation of the interview and myself paying for the trip, the image was very negative and not only I found not attractive the position but also I got a bad image of the company because of that director. And some people at some levels only choose attractive companies to work at. It is recommended to fill the gaps of the interview with position descriptions, round tour on factories, product showing. It is the image of the company that you are.

Behave like a smart candidate. One of the worst interviews I have done to a candidate, was with one that was always referring to our company like “…I guess you do”, “I am sure you do…” please do not take any assumptions on the company, you came to the interview not to explain the future boss the company/position, just because you are an expert in the area. The worst thing that can happen is that either you create a debate (and we lose time again) on how things are done in a company. Or even worst, the interviewers feels that candidate is taking too much space. Not to even mention disagree with your interviewers that you are more expert, that can open the door directly.

Finally I like to conclude that the best interviews are the ones that could have taken place in a cafe, smooth, relax and time-free. furthermore, I am sorry to conclude with the topic of “be yourself” but it is true, interviews are networking, meeting people and enjoy it. There is no need to show off since your CV is already there and calling you means they are interested, therefore show interest. The best interviews are when the candidate expresses him/herself clearly in a positive and humble way, and show motivation. With regards to the interviewers, your main intention is create an atmosphere to get the best of them and se who you can work with.

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