Self-Inflicted Wounds During A Job Search

Are you killing your chances for success?  Sometimes candidates can cause their own demise during the job search process and never know what they did wrong.  Mostly it’s caused by a candidate’s attitude that is picked up by the interviewer.  It could be the way the candidate talks or acts toward others, how they answer questions, their comments about current employers or their own behavior.  Here are some of the ways that kill your chances in an interview:

  • Arrogance – When a candidate projects a superior attitude with newly met people.  It could be a lack of smile, no eye contact, a dismissive posture, comment or gesture.
  • “The Greatest Story Ever Told” – Tell the interviewer that you’re a rock-star, all your results are of your own making, that your current organization can’t do without you, and “they’ll miss me when I’m gone”.  You need to present yourself in a positive, engaging and believable way.  Go easy on the superlatives.
  • A candidate projects all the shortcomings of their current organization on the boss, peers or subordinates.  When answering the question, “Why are you looking for another job?”, do you respond:
    • “It’s someone else’s fault that I couldn’t get the job done…”
    • “They didn’t listen or support my efforts…”
    • “I’m a victim of favoritism…”
    • “Politics is the rule rather than the exception and prevented me from …”
  • Buzz words with no “back-up” – You describe yourself as uniquely qualified, but are without proof!!  This candidate is unable to describe their value.
  • Ever see a resume that said, “non-creative individual with no goals, results or motivation, looking for a high paying job while doing very little”?  How about, “Innovative worker, achieves objectives, highly motivated, looking for high reward with high performance”?  The latter description does’nt show measurable performance indicators.
  • Attitudes that turn off the interviewer:
  • What’s in it for me?  (Rather than looking to enhance the organizational results)
  • A complainer.  (This can take many forms including past employers… a no-no)
  • I deserve it.  (An attitude of entitlement for whatever they want to do)
    • When a candidate takes little or no responsibility for a missed goal or shortfall.  The candidate never owns-up to a misstep, error or decision that misses the mark.
    • When a candidate sees other people’s results as “lucky”.  Or the reverse, when the candidates see themselves as “unlucky”.

It’s been my experience that “Lucky” people tend to be relaxed, confident and comfortable with their results, that they can articulate it in a positive way, as a team effort, with the candidate in a leading role.


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By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.