Hi. My name is Cory Minter and I am the president of Trinity Employment Specialists, a Tulsa staffing company. I want to talk to you today about how to answer some of the interviewing questions that you get asked when you are out on an interview. I think there’s some emphasis that needs to be put on this, and I think that a lot of people probably don’t really break it down the way that I’m intending to today. Just to give you something you need to think about before you go into your interview. Let me offer a few suggestions for you and let’s see if this might help.
The first is to use appropriate language. I don’t think a lot of people think about this very often. I think naturally probably people go in and they intend to say the right things. They intend to be proper during the interview. Interviewing as much as I have, a lot of times you are going to have some not so professional language come out in the interview naturally, and it concerns you a little bit on how they’re going to behave in the job throughout that time.
So for example, if you hear the word, “Dude. Hey man.” That type of casual language I hear a lot in interviews and it makes me concerned that they might not be able to professionally interact with our customers. If they are on their best behavior now and they are using slang words during an interview, it makes me a little bit concerned on how their language might be when their guard is dropped and they get comfortable. So when you are interviewing, I know this sounds silly and most professionals are going to get this, but you might want to really think about the language you are going to use in the interview and try to be intentional and professional during the entire time of your interview. Especially if you are interviewing for a professional position.
The second thing is, is to answer the question that you were asked. It’s so frustrating when you ask a question and all of the sudden you end up over in Disney World at the Epcot Center off of a professional question that you asked. If someone doesn’t have the ability to answer a question as it’s asked and they end up in left field somewhere, it really makes me as an interviewer concerned if they are going to end up at Epcot Center at Disney World when you ask for them to do a specific task. Meaning that you ask them to do one thing and they easily veer off into another area. If you are going to manage people and manage people correctly, you want to bring people on your team that can be concise and deliberate with the things that they do on the job. The last thing you want is someone who is going to waver over and just follow their imagination.
So if you are answering questions, make sure that you don’t give the perception to your interviewer that you are kind of a wanderer and you kind of just go wherever the wind takes you. You want to come across as someone who is deliberate and has a very thought out approach to your delivery. So don’t fall into that casual problem of wandering. I think that it will really help you to come across as a lot more competent.
Third thing is don’t appear desperate. I generally find working at a Tulsa staffing company this is with someone who has been out of work for a good while, and it’s generally also with somebody who had held a pretty high level position before in their past. They lost that position either due to a lay-off or whatever the case may be. Either way, they are hurting for money and you can see it on their face. I don’t know why but it really concerns you. It concerns you why has somebody else not hired them. Why do they come across as so desperate? When you come across as desperate, you come across as less competent. It just is not the type of appearance that you want to present. It makes me sad for people when they do that. Especially those who have held high positions in the past because you know good and well that they are just trying to get back to the levels that they were.
As a staffing company we might see promise in them and send them out for an interview, but the other interviewers are really concerned when they seem desperate. I don’t know how many times I’ve had some of our customers tell us that, “I don’t know. I’m really concerned. They sound a little bit too desperate.” Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. You may be really concerned and fearful that you don’t have a job, and I understand that fear. But don’t let it come across in the interview. Let your confidence and competence come across in the interview. Wait for that fear to happen when you get home. While you are in the interview, really show your confidence and your abilities in your field. I think that will help.
The fourth thing I would like to encourage you with is don’t be cocky. I just talked to you about don’t be desperate. Well let’s go to the opposite. Don’t be cocky. It’s just annoying and you don’t want to deal with it over and over and over again. I promise you interviewers don’t. I’ll bet you over the last year, it’s September right now, the first 9-10 months I’ll bet you we’ve seen 50 people not get a job through our company all because they came across as being cocky in the interview, like they knew everything. They knew more than the supervisor and the supervisor was like, “I just don’t want to deal with that kind of attitude. I think you definitely don’t want to come across as a pushover, but you want to come across as competent and confident. When you jump into the cocky mode it’s really not going to fare well for you. So make sure that you are deliberate in how you come across.
The fifth thing is to make yourself aware of your non-verbal communication. Sit up. Make eye contact. Look interested. Smile occasionally. I swear to you just yesterday we had somebody that didn’t hire a high level person because they said they didn’t smile enough. I don’t get that myself, but it happened and it’s going to happen again. So make yourself aware of your non-verbal communication. Don’t let your nervousness come across. It might hurt you in the interview. Make sure that you pay attention to that. I promise you it can hurt you if you let it show through.
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