Monday, January 2, 2012

Signs That Your Interview is Not Going Well and What To Do About It

You know that you cannot afford to stay unemployed and you also know that you cannot afford to waste your time running down leads that likely to come to fruition. You have watched and know what is happening at You Name It Company/Industry and you have been able to secure an interview.  Having a keen eye for when the interview is going sour takes savvy. Here are five red flags and strategies for saving the interview:

No. 1: Potential Hiring Manager Seems Indifferent
A hiring manager who is interested in doing business with you should have questions that challenge you.  The questions should go far beyond the generic and seek to understand how you have approached and solved problems and issues in the past.  If they don't have any questions that require a thoughtful answer, be on the alert.

To resolve this problem, seek to create more of an advisory relationship with the hiring manager. You can let them know that you will help either to solve their problem or suggest someone else who may be a better fit. Offering to help people find other candidates might seem counterintuitive, but it can go a long way to earn the trust.

No. 2: There is No Hard Deadline For a Decision
Getting the feeling that the company is ready to hire is important.  It is always important to ask potential employers about their timeline for hiring. You want to be able to concentrate your efforts on those companies that have a hard deadline.

No. 3: You Are Not Dealing With the Decision Maker
You may start out talking with a junior-level employee who is vetting options, but beware if you aren't put in touch with the decision maker after a few conversations. It is probably a sign the company is not serious about hiring or at least hiring someone from the ‘outside’. 

Getting past that roadblock can be challenging. The bigger the organization you are dealing with, the more layers of management you likely will have to penetrate.  Create a business case and/or presentation that clearly shows why you are the best candidate for the position. 

No. 4: Your Price is Too High | You are a mature candidate
Hiring managers generally refrain from hiring a candidate with tonnes of experience because they believe they can find someone else who can do the job for less money or because they feel that you are trying to sell more than they need.

If your competitors are offering to do the job at a lower salary, focus on how you can provide some added value/benefit to the employer and to the position.

No. 5: You Are Asked To Make a Presentation
When potential hiring managers ask you to make a presentation as part of the interview, it is usually a sign that they are simply gathering information.

Before creating the presentation, ask what the hiring manager is looking for and what criteria will be used to make the hiring decision. The problem having to make the presentation as part of the interview process is that there is no chance for them to tell you what is wrong with the presentation you made.  Reaching a verbal understanding on those issues increases the likelihood that you will secure the position. 

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Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at