3 brutal truths that nobody tells you about the interview process
Thousands of candidate interviews later and we can confidently guarantee that nobody knows better than our career experts how flawed or potentially unfair an interview process can be.
The 1st depressing fact:
Organizations always hire in a manner that converges to a mean over time.
Put another way, an A manager is likely to hire an A or B candidate. And a B manager is likely to hire only a B, C, or D candidate.
Hiring managers almost always hire talent similar to themselves, or weaker than themselves. So the next time you think you nailed an interview, think again.
2nd brutal truth:
Interview is sales.
Consequently, interviewers tend to favor those who are better salespeople. What do we mean by that? People rarely say this, but it’s true.
In the interview room, you are only as good as your ability to sell yourself in a way that is compelling and relevant to the interviewers. Between a more and less qualified or suitable candidate, the one with less skills or intelligence could very well walk away with the job offer.
The 3rd unfortunate reality:
Companies rarely have a consistent interview method and process in place to ensure fair and objective selection of the most suitable candidate.
You can read Glassdoor interview tips, talk to current employees of the organization, prepare like crazy, and yet fail an interview.
Maybe the interviewer has had a rotten day before walking into the room. Maybe you were thrown a curveball question. Maybe you just didn’t have as much in common with the hiring manager as the next candidate. Random events can skew an interview result in a negative way.
What then is our advice for you? We may never be able to change fact #1 and 3.
Which leaves us with the following mindset: Interview so well that they have no choice but to offer you the job. You might not get offered at the end, or you might decline the offer. But you can network aggressively during the interview. You may not be selected this time, but one of the interviewers may move next month to a different company and want you on his new team.
Be the best salesperson to walk through their door.
Aim actively to understand at the end or after an interview why you may not be the best fit. Listen up for anything you can learn and take away from that interview.
Finally, prepare religiously. Get plenty of actual interview practice.
Research interview hacks that we’ve seen successful people use. Need honest, constructive feedback about what you need to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing in an interview? Sign up for a personal interview coaching session with one of our career experts.