Don’t be too humble in job interviews
If I made a mistakes in job interviews it has been in being too humble.
Often when people ask people who work in IT if they are an expert on something, you have to wonder what they mean by expert. To me an expert is able to find a solution. To others expert may be someone who knows all the answers. I don’t know all the answers, but I am able to find a solution to every problem.
When interviews ask if you know something I always try to say how many years experience and often often in those years I used it. For example, if someone asks if I am experiences with Office 365 I will say that I have used it for 20+ years everyday. I understand a great deal and my weakest point is in Excel. However I am learning in Excel, so that won’t be weak much longer.
It is ok to be awesome and let others know that you are motivated and care about the clients success. Often what I have seen is that the culture is more important than specific skills. Yes, those skills bring you to the table, but skills alone don’t make you successful. Only your attitude your emotional intelligence, can help you form working relationships with others.
Job interviewers want to know if you are the kind of people they want to be coworkers with. They want to see that you are friendly, kind and not too big of a jerk. Unfortunately many smart people are quite emotionally tone-deaf, but they want to see that you can get along with others. If you can make your interviewer laugh you are 50% of the way to getting the job. Don’t try to be funny, but if something funny comes up don’t be afraid to say it either.
At times in job interviews you have to just take a chance. In one job interview I took a major risk in saying something that was quite bold. My recruiter was in the room with me and looked shocked. He was worried that I just said something that the client wouldn’t be able to accept. However the client loved it, and while I didn’t have any evidence other than a gut feeling, I knew it was the right choice.
At times your gut feeling may be wrong, and your honesty will cause you to lose the job. In one job he asked if I could stay at the job for a minimum of 5 years. I said yes. I also shared that IT workers it is normal to move around and that it would be difficult to find someone who would stay. To him, he heard I couldn’t stay 5 years even though I promised him yes. I keep my promises. It was ok, the company wasn’t that great anyway.
Job interviews are like dates. If you are afraid to be yourself, it probably isn’t a good match.
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