What interviewers wish they could tell job-seekers

The workplace version of a first date, a job interview brims with nervous energy and expectations, but as with a first date, both parties hope it’ll be just wonderful. This might help.

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In the best interviews, job candidates say a lot and interviewers very little—after all, the interview is about the candidate, not the interviewer.

There are a few things interviewers would like to tell job candidates well before the interview starts.

1. I want you to be likeable.

Obvious? Sure, but also crucial. I want to work with people I like and who, in turn, like me.

So, I want you to smile. I want you to make eye contact, sit forward in your chair, and be enthusiastic. The employer-employee relationship truly is a relationship—and that relationship starts with the interview (if not before.)

A candidate who makes a great first impression and sparks a real connection instantly becomes a big fish in a very small short-list pond. You may have solid qualifications, but if I don’t think I’ll enjoy working with you, I’m probably not going to hire you. Life is too short.

2. I don’t want you to immediately say you want the job.

Oh, I do want you to want the job, but not before you really know what the job entails. I may need you to work 60-hour weeks, or travel 80 percent of the time, or report to someone with less experience than you—so sit tight for a bit.

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