What in the world could the movie Batman vs Superman have to do with interviewing? There are no interviews in the movie. Batman isn’t looking for a job! But, it’s me… and I always have a way to tie my topic into a movie. This “tie-in” is a doozy!
Recently I had the opportunity to interview a group of people for 2 open positions. They all had the resumes to get in the door. That’s what usually happens in an interview. If you’re called in, the person with whom you’re meeting has most likely already seen your resume and now wants to see if you’re a good fit.
I chose the group interview, because I wanted to see peoples’ personalities within a group setting. Who would step up as leaders, who would be the problem solvers, who would try too hard, and who would leave no impression at all?
Three were three standouts. My partner and I agreed on all three, we didn’t agree on who the front runners were. No problem, that’s what a second interview is for. Now we’d meet them one-on-one, and hopefully something would stand out to make our choice of cutting one easier.
We were NOT disappointed. Someone did stand out BUT for the wrong reasons! After meeting with two extremely personable, professional candidates who clearly researched the company and had questions and appropriate stories prepared for us, we were nervous that this was going to be a REALLY hard decision if the third candidate came in just as strong.
Upon entering the room, the third candidate, had “dressed-down” for the interview. Okay, it’s casual Friday, so I can overlook that, not a deal breaker, but I DON’T recommend it. So, before I go into what NOT to do, let’s review what you should do:
- Dress the part. If you’re interviewing for a professional position wear business attire. Rob Lowe for his Saint Elmo’s Fire meeting, dressed as his character Billy and even brought a six pack.
- Be Personable. YOU have to show up in the meeting. Being personable means, showing your personality, If nerves are an issue for you it’s important that you use techniques to overcome them. Like these:
- Be Prepared. Do your research on the person and/or company with whom you’re meeting. Have questions that show you’ve done your research and that you’re interested.
- Share Stories. The key to feeling relaxed in an interview is being grounded. The key to being grounded is to share your life and work experiences that tie into the position you’re being interview for, revealing why you’re the right person.
Here’s what NOT to do… OVERSHARE.
While I love a great story when interviewing someone, you have to know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate.
Okay, back to the third candidate. My partner and I went through the same introduction, history, and job duties that we’d covered with the first two candidates. Where the first two had interacted with us by sharing stories and asking questions, the third candidate said nothing. Where was the outgoing, charismatic woman from the day before?
At the end of the interview when we asked her if she had any questions, she replied, “No.” We were about to see her out when she said, “Can I be honest with you?” to which we nodded, eager to hear what she had to say… “I don’t know if you’ve seen-” There was a long dramatic pause, to which my partner and I both had enough time to have a few horrific thoughts go through our head: Had someone in her family died? Was there a destructive hurricane that had wiped out her extended family’s homes? Had she been in an accident on the way here? Did she get bad news about her health?
– “Batman vs Superman?” Another pause enough for my partner and I to both think, “Oh, please don’t say there was a shooting in the theater!” We were nervous. I hadn’t checked Facebook that morning and I never watch the news, what could have put this woman in this fog-like state?
– “Henry Cavill is SO HOT! I mean I can’t stop thinking about Superman! I was up all night in my bed just thinking about him…(this went on for a good four minutes until…) so basically, I’ve been thinking about Superman this entire time, if I’m being completely honest. Oh, that Henry Cavill!”
AND… the interview was over! We walked her to the door, closed it behind her, looked at each other, and burst out laughing!!!
Do NOT over share in an interview! It is better to blow it by being in a flush-faced haze and leave the interviewers wondering why. She may have gotten called back another time when we were hiring again. But telling us what she’d been doing alone in her bed all night… not appropriate. I don’t even feel that giving you the full details of it all would be appropriate, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
- Practice your stories that reveal the qualities that make you hirable.
- If you need help with your interview skills set up a one-on-one Interview Preparation Session with me. Email Jessica@thegreenlightcoach.com for details.
In Batman vs Superman, Batman feared that the actions of Superman were going unchecked. Check yourself and follow the four tips on what to do in an interview and leave out over sharing. You don’t need to be a superhero to have power, the power is already in you!