“Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it” – Irving Berlin
Attitude. Your mother probably complained about yours during your teen years and more than one employer has discussed it at some point during your career. Your attitude during a job search can be a deal breaker when it comes to getting that dream opportunity. Here are some pitfalls to avoid during the job search and interview process:
Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! Pick Me! Pick Me!
Desperation didn’t work so well for Arnold Horshack in “Welcome Back Kotter” and it probably won’t for you either. This may be the one-you’ve-been-waiting-for but coming off as too eager can have negative effects and send up a red flag to the recruiter that you are lacking in some way. Express your interest in a calm, collected way and don’t go overboard on the praise as you could be viewed as insincere.
I Am Not Good Enough
Employers are looking for confident, self-assured candidates and coming in with your tail between your legs isn’t going to impress them. Can’t seem to shake that I-am-not-good-enough feeling? Try making a list of the reasons you are a great fit and commit them to memory. Repeat these affirmations in your head before the interview and hopefully your confidence will follow.
I Am TOO Good
Speaking of confidence, be careful not to let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. Overly confident people can come across as arrogant or even condescending and no one likes a braggart. Describe your accomplishments without a lot of hype and let them speak for themselves.
Keep That Poker Face
While attitude lives in the mind, it does show through the body, so watch those non-verbal cues. Not having good control over your facial and body expressions can land you in the reject pile if you are not careful. Maintain good eye contact and keep a neutral, yet interested expression, particularly if discussing a sensitive subject such as why you were let go or a challenging boss.
The Eeyore Effect
Nothing can turn off a recruiter or employer more than a lackluster candidate with a “woe is me” demeanor. Yes, you may have just been laid off, this may be the twentieth interview you’ve been on and yes, you may be feeling less than sparkling. This is not group therapy, it’s a job interview. Companies want individuals with the can-do spirit that others want to be around. Feeling less than enthusiastic? If you can’t get there naturally go back to the fake it ‘til you make it approach. It’s only ½ hour or so, hang in there.