The Single Worst Thing About Any Job Interview: Whims of Human Nature
The single worst thing in my opinion is the fact that you getting the job or not may rely on the personal whim of an interviewer and no one can possibly account for that since it’s impossible. I say this as I am currently on a job search of my own and have encountered conflicting advice from numerous sources on a number of different topics related to how you portray yourself while searching for a job and going out to interviews.
Below are 3 things which I have specifically gotten conflicting opinions on and thus are centered around a man’s problems in going out for interviews but they can be read from the female perspective too. (Just ignore the facial hair part and think of the multiple ways a lady can style her hair from ponytails to buns to letting it just fall and the tons more I am sure I am not mentioning due to my lack of experience in this area.)
I have heard some say you should always go in a suit – and this is something I personally always do. It was all fine until someone told me my light suit, bright colored tie, and colored shirt are too flashy and I should be in a dark suit, white shirt, and sober tie while someone else told me that even wearing a suit at all to some industries’ interviews is way too corporate looking and stuffy.
Hairstyle & Facial Hair:
I have heard some people say that a man should shave even if he has a beard – I mean a real beard not just “the scruffy look” – and will likely grow it back once his interview(s) are over. But what if your interviewer has a beard just like yours and it is something you can bond over? Or they just like the look of a guy with a beard because it means the two of you have similar mindsets. You never know!
Someone once told me I should make myself sound like a bit of a cold jerk in an interview since it apparently implies a great work ethic if you’re a cold person. (I guess because you’re less likely to socialize?) But, what if they just got rid of some person who was a pain to have around the office because while they did all their work super efficiently they completely ruined morale among their co-workers? Will they want to hire someone who seems cold after that experience? Of course, being warm can work in the opposite direction. You can be perceived as being too sociable and too chatty and maybe they’ll be worried you won’t get any work done and will keep others from doing theirs. At the end of the day, this too is on the whim of the person doing the interviewing and a bunch of exterior factors you can’t possibly predict.
My Final Thoughts, Roundup, & Request For What YOU Think:
I don’t blame any interviewer for having their own personal whims and desires to see in the people they are interviewing to hire because it is just human nature. I have just been wanting to get this off my chest because it is a super frustrating reality which – as far as I know – not much can be done about. No matter how prepared you are for the interview and how qualified you are for the job in question it can all end up resting on how you shook the hand of the person who came in to interview you or the type of day they’re having when they sit down to talk to you. It might even be something as silly as them thinking you remind them in some way of an ex which means you don’t get the job and not only will you never know that’s what it was but there was nothing short of surgery you could have done to avoid that pitfall.
What I do believe, however, is that over-thinking this kind of thing will get you nowhere. Because there isn’t a whole lot you can do about most of these, I feel that it is more important to feel comfortable in your own skin when you go into that interview since it will likely cut down on the probable immense amount of nervousness you’re going to be feeling anyway. Having to remember to act a certain way, or not to smile too much, or smile more than you usually do, or wear a suit you think is not what you should be wearing to the interview will not help you keep a clear head and convey comfort with your sense of self. But then again, maybe the interviewer WANTS you to be awkward because it means you’ll be eager to please and they can mold you into their definition of ideal employee. See! You can second guess this kind of thing forever.
One super important thing to remember is that these whims can also work in your favor. Maybe you remind the interviewer of their kid when they were starting out in the job hunt, or maybe your beard conveys a sense of manliness and can-do attitude to the interviewer because that’s just what their father’s beard looked like when they were growing up. Maybe they saw that suit, tie, or shoes you’re wearing in the store, were debating buying it themselves, and that makes the interviewer think that you’re the kind of person they can get along with because you have similar tastes in attire. Who knows!
What do you think about the job interview process and how seems some things are arbitrarily decided on by the interviewer? Do you think there are any cold, hard truths that hold up when interviewing for a position in any industry? Please, let me know in the comments below!
Top image via employers-lawyer.com
Third image via limpehft.blogspot.com