What am I Doing Wrong in the Actual Interview?
March 27, 2006 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm falling down on the actual interviews - what should I be doing, reading, projecting, etc ...?

I've been in my field for 10 years (Marketing) and my background is specialized but there are no major potholes - worked for variety of companies small and large so while I'm not a perfect candidate for every marketing position, I think I have enough on the background. My problem is the interviews. I have a nice suit, clean shaven, I have copies of everything and I know all the right answers to the "regular" interview questions - but I think I'm somehow not projecting that I'll fit in - of course, I'm still a little nervous but I think it's more than that. How should I be prepping myself to project what? As an interviewer, beyond the technical & background stuff, what personality or projections do you want to see in a senior mgmt interviewee? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by jbelkin to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Look into the DiSC personality profiles. Meet as many of the people in a company where you (think you) want to work. Do their personalities make a good fit with yours? Remember that no matter how you practice the "right" answers to all the standard questions, there are parts of your personality that shine through in the things you volunteer about yourself and the manner in which you divulge anything.
posted by bilabial at 11:45 AM on March 27, 2006

Ask a friend or colleague or two to put you through a mock interview and videotape yourself. This can help you to see if there are mannerisms that are giving the wrong impression about your personality. I sometimes have the habit of looking away from an interviewer when answering questions.

Maintain good eye contact and make sure you are speaking from your diaphragm. This will help to make you seem less whiny.
posted by JJ86 at 12:11 PM on March 27, 2006

I glibly suggest that you talk to a counselor, a career counselor. A good one can help you with the mock interview and then critique your performance. Whether a professional versus a buddy with a videocam is worth it depends on the cost, but the payback could be quite high and one would hope that the pro will give a better critique of your technique.
posted by caddis at 12:56 PM on March 27, 2006

Are you asking them questions? I think the worst thing you can do is sit there and be a passive interviewee, rattling off "the right answers" to all the usual questions.

Great candidates ask perceptive, insightful questions which demonstrate their understanding of both the field and the company for which they're interviewing. Don't treat an interview like a visit to the principal's office; treat it like you're a consultant who's been brought in to fix a bad situation. Ask them where their department is falling short, and talk about the ways you've solved those problems in the past, and how you would like to make positive changes. Enthusiasm always makes a great impression.
posted by junkbox at 1:12 PM on March 27, 2006

It sounds like you're not that interested in the jobs you're applying for: you mention that you have a speciality but are also qualified for these more general jobs. I suggest that the interviewers are picking up on that.
posted by fshgrl at 8:19 PM on March 27, 2006

what personality or projections do you want to see in a senior mgmt interviewee?

A willingness to commit to the learning curve and really understand the company and how you can contribute. Give specific examples of creative thinking from previous jobs (while still hitting all the regular humdrum stuff.) In my experience, too many marketing senior mgmt are very "appropriate" people who undoubtedly noted quantitative improvements under their leadership on their resume blah blah blah, but these people are ultimately inflexible and more interested in creating reports than understanding how they can work to do their job better. /rant
posted by desuetude at 8:28 PM on March 27, 2006

Generally I look for someone that talks more than is spoken too, but doesn't talk too much.
posted by sled at 2:35 PM on March 28, 2006

These all sound like good starting points for me to ponder and thinka bout - thanks - all sounds like good advice - KEEP THEM COMING.


I think part of the problem is you become used to company you work for and you don't always see how others see "new" employees - how does your company culture sort of "see" potential recruits/employees?

I'm curious so I can decide if I'm approcahing the situation right? Thanks!

Anything & everything is useful - thanks!
posted by jbelkin at 11:32 PM on March 28, 2006

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