Let’s suppose that you are a Hiring Manager – a hiring manager that happens to love baseball. Along comes the fifth candidate out of the five you and your team have chosen to interview in person. After the small talk about the weather and did you have any trouble finding the place, you lead off with…
So, how come you are no longer employed…I notice your employment with ABC Company ended in December 2011?
And you, the candidate sitting in the hot seat, freeze. While you thought this question might be asked of you, you had not counted on it being asked so abruptly at the beginning of the conversation.
Um, well, I guess you could say it was a bad fit – a bad choice…and so I just quit after about a year…resigned in December.
So, am I to presume you are a quitter and one who makes bad choices?
Well, no that’s not exactly what I meant….
So, what exactly did you mean?
Well I meant… I just thought it was a bad fit, you know, a bad pick.
A bad fit? A bad pick? So, tell me, Candidate Number 5, are you saying you also make bad decisions and bad picks on behalf of your employer?
See how this conversation is going nowhere and mostly nowhere fast for you, the Job Candidate Number Five?
Five Tips to Keep A Job Interview Conversation From Going in the Ditch:
1. Know that one of the Hiring Manager’s many jobs is to give you ample fodder to A) keep you in the game and/or B) to listen attentively to your responses to see if you do yourself in and / or take yourself out of the running.
2. Know that one of the Hiring Manager’s many tasks is to assess what you are made of and evaluate how you will add value via the proof / evidence that you deliver in the interview conversation.
3. Know that the Hiring Manager is expecting you to convince him or her that you are a strong contender for the j-o-b and that no matter what “negative bait” you are given, you can manage it with confidence, grace and style.
4. Know that it is your job, as the candidate, to consistently present positive-sounding responses to questions that may be negatively rooted. (So, then, are we to assume that you have poor decision-making abilities and why or why not?)
5. Know that no matter what comes at you – knuckle ball, spit ball, curve ball, fast ball, cutter, slider, slurve, change up – whatever it is, be ready, be prepared – and know it’s coming at you for the purpose of keeping you in or getting you out of the job search game. So swing batta’ batta’ at something good, something that keeps you headed for home plate.