Don’t listen to me.
I can’t really give you advice on interviewing for jobs.
That’s because (as I have written before in my blogs if you read them) I have never received a job via a job interview. Yet, I have one this week coming up…
So, let’s try to figure out what I have done wrong. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes or in this case from being me!
You see, I am starting to believe that job interviews are counter-intuitive. Everything you ever learned about them is wrong. In fact, the less you prepare and the more you reverse everything you have ever done and follow a complete different tact, the more likely you will get an offer.
Act Like You Don’t Need The Job
Apparently desperation breeds contempt. You act a bit desperate during the interview it’s a total turn off. Therefor, no begging, don’t get there early, no going the extra mile and for god sake’s never mention that Sammy needs braces. Make yourself scarce and put yourself on a pedestal. In fact, move the interview date/time because you are too busy even if you are not. And always mention that you already have a gig taking up your time (be it that this job may not exist).
The more you are in demand the better. And if necessary you need to artificially create that demand with the employer.
Also, it could be important to do this for salary negotiations. Be tough, be upfront and be willing to walk if they don’t meet your numbers. It’s hardball, but I really believe this makes you the more desirable candidate.
Lie (Well at least exaggerate!)
I am quite ethical. In fact, that is my downfall. I have up till recently stated the truth and been quite detailed on my exact experience and what I can offer. But that is not the entire way to successfully interviewing apparently.
Everybody Does It!
There was an old 60 minutes interview of a top NYC tax accountant in the 1970s who wore a white mink coat and a drove a white Rolls Royce. Mike Wallace asked him this question. “How many people do it?” There was a pause. And the accountant answered “Everybody does it!” He was talking about cheating on their taxes!
Even I have started to embellish my resume, the best I can. My problem is I don’t want to lie. But as some Indian job shopper said to me just last week they want me to add a little more this and a little more that to the resume. It was like getting a recommendation at the hair cutters to take a little off the top. In fact, the Indian job shoppers tell you to just make a new resume with the job keywords right in there the way they need it, even if you do do not have the exact experience. But don’t listen to me on this, it’s your own personal judgement what you do!
A great example I once read in a book about interviewing stated that the potential hiring manager may be thinking to themselves will this person be loyal and “Can this person cover for me when I leave early on Fridays?” That’s why the little bits of lies and exaggeration may actually work!
Timing Is Everything, Not
Apparently people looking to hire (at least the Indian recruiters) introduce themselves to me like they are training with me with a stop watch. They get in touch with me with messages saying that this is the most urgent message that I will ever get. They give me time bomb messages in my voice mail box, like one that said you have 60 minutes to get back to me. It is like Mission Impossible for job interviewing. You need to get the resume in the inbox immediately. You need to respond pronto.
Obviously we are tempted to get right on it! Most of us are great workers and live up to our high quality of service. Most of you reading this are not Millennials waking up at noon, wearing t-shirts to interviews and know the importance of timeliness. But remember I want to create a sense that I am in demand, not one that I am desperate. So my response is tepid at best.
I can tell you that timeliness with recruiters has gotten me bupkis (yes that is the Yiddish word for nothing). Being on time for job interviews sure. But responding like I am the first in the door at the prom is no longer going to be my mantra.
Besides, 90% of the time all the urgency ends suddenly. Best way to describe this is a prettier girl came along!
It’s like the head hunter was in a singles bar and they suddenly ignored me when a tall blonde walked in the door! Are you that tall blonde?
Personality Is No Longer As Important
My father used to tell us that interview hiring decisions were made when you walked in the door and shook hands. Things have changed. There are few if any in person interviews. You can’t shake hands over Skype or FreeConferenceCall.com. I would say that less job decisions are being made by do they like you or not as well. That’s because they are not taking the time to get to know you. So decisions are being made by the fill in the dot method of do you meet the criteria the best (and can you show up on day 1). The call is just a way to find out if they are bringing on Jeffrey Dahmer or not.
Take It Or Leave It
At least I have joined The Working candidates. Now I am one of the many who can take it or leave it. It feels good. We have the advantage and have the personal leverage. That is the position you need to be in for interviewing and it will exude through your personality. So, if you are out on the streets like I was last year looking, you need to get a gig, regardless of what it is. Take it. One of my friends got a gig at the Apple Store once when he was looking to start over. It was a living hell apparently (imagine being one of the clone bots in there wearing a blue shirt) standing for 8 hours a day serving rich folks, but you got to do what you got to do. From Uber to Mystery Shopper, having a current gig is important. Now, most tech people reading this will be able to be into something a little better, but who knows, there is always the barista job at Starbucks! I have no shame, I would actually love that job.
My Personal Update
Ok, so let me give you an update on my job situation. I am still at the consulting gig that my business associate/friend landed me because he knew me. It is good, but it is not permanent. Nothing is. None of the interviews I went through, about 12, out of a hundred impressions (my word for they contacted me somehow) over the past 4 months ended in an offer. So, I am quite right. I am still 0% in interviews and to tell you the truth, interviewing is pretty much a waste of time. I am at the same time building up my StartupPOP event side business with more events and new features which I am excited about. My speed dating business is humming along. Remember I am the CTO of that one, but it is all automated. As we say in South Florida, never give up the night job! You never know when you will need it.
And as Michael Groening stated in his comic book Work Is Hell, “whatever you do, never show this to your employer!”
Ok, now if you live in South Florida, we are running our next StartupPOP Tech Pitch Event with Networking on Tuesday, November 1st at The Greenhouse in Boca Raton starting at 5pm. Our last event had about 70 attendees and we had 10 startups pitch. We had 1 VC, 1 Angel and 1 Individual Investor on our panel. If you are not pitching, it is great for networking and networking is part of your future job search. Trust me it is important to get out there to build YOUR personal community! StartupPOP is looking for tech startups to both pitch and to demo their product or service at tables during the event. So, if you are interested, please click here to RSVP. It’s $15 to RSVP in advance or at the door (A pittance in NYC). To put up a table to show off your tech to investors or customers it starts at $99 per half table. Please sign up through the link below today. Please contact me as well if you want to sponsor our event! And have a great week!