You probably remember the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears in which Goldie was looking for the ‘just right’ porridge. Well have you heard about Goldilocks and the three interviews? It’s a modern tale of three job candidates speaking to Goldie, the hiring manager, who is looking for that ‘just right’ employee.
Here is a look into the interviews of three unique job candidates in this present-day allegory:
This Interview is TOO HOT
“I am big-time, all the time, when it’s fine I’m online. I am a go-getter, a self-starter, a do-gooder and a no liar. I act nice, feel good, stand tall and talk fast. I have a can-do, will-do, never won’t-do, gonna make do attitude. My friends call me ‘Slick Nick’ with the tricks that can’t be licked. Hire me if you want to accelerate, depreciate, congregate and replicate your corporate success. I am all about synergy, with maximum energy, and never making enemies. The bottom line is this is the time to get in line with my business-kind and see how fine your future with be WITH ME!”
This Interview is TOO COLD
“I don’t know if I am I right for this job. Do you think I am right for this job? I think I am under-dressed for this interview. I know I should have dressed for success. That’s what mother told me to do, but she just drives me nuts. Doesn’t your mother bother you? How much is the pay for this job anyway? Accomplishments? Well, it is a little hard to tell what I did versus what my team did. I am more a “cog in the wheel” type of person, if you know what I mean. What’s that? Why do I want the job? I don’t know. I guess I NEED the job more than I WANT it. Are we almost done? I have an appointment to look at my bunion at 3 p.m. and I don’t want to miss it.”
This Interview is JUST RIGHT
“Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions. Will there be a chance to ask you some questions at the end of the interview? No? No problem. Would you mind if I followed up the interview via email with some questions? It’s just that I have done quite a bit of research on your company, your products, you, and I would appreciate the chance to learn more. I would especially like to know more about your new product launch, and the time you spent at ACME Co. My accomplishments? I like to describe my previous work experience in terms of the unique value I believe I created for the companies I worked for. I also learned a lot through those experiences. I’ll give you some specific examples. When can I start? When do you need me?”
The lesson? The “Just Right” interview has three qualities:
- Show interest in the position and willingness to invest in the interview process.
- See the interview as a give-AND-take, not a give (too hot) OR take (too cold).
- Talk about your accomplishments in terms of unique value added. Don’t use buzzwords or generalities that make people think you are all talk and no action. But don’t shy away from talking about what you have accomplished either. Your future employer needs to know that you can add value to their business.