Nice Interview but does it pass the sniff test?

June 22, 2015

Poker players call it a “tell”. It’s something an opponent does that signals they are bluffing. It’s usually a nervous tic: adjusting a ring on your finger or placing your finger by your nose to appear pensive. Lesser poker plays have tells and the pros can easily spot them and remove those lesser players from their chips.

So how do you spot them in an interview? Most people embellish on their resumes and will give you the answers you want to hear in an interview. How do you break past this barrier without pestering?

1. Trust your senses.

If you sense something fishy don’t dismiss it. Too many managers have come with tales of how they knew something was too good to be true but they let it go because they want to believe the fairy tale rather than the cold realism.

2. It’s not all about you.

When it comes time for the interviewee to ask questions pay attention to how they’re framed. Is it about what your organization has to gain or is it about what the interviewee has to gain.

3. Assessing blame.

Hopefully some tough questions were asked about gaps in the resume and reasons for leaving different places. Avoid gotcha questions. They’re annoying, off-putting and reveal nothing. But ask about the career arc, why it moved this way or that. If the answers seem to put blame on previous managers or organizations then you have a red flag that even the sharpest resume and pedigree will likely not overcome.

4. Too good to be true.

Candidates are trying to stand out and to give quantifiable, hard results and achievements. But if the numbers are ridiculous then the embellishments and best light turn to clear deception. I think it’s fair to ask with a smile to explain the hyperbolic numbers and allow for a verbal correction.

5. Overly familiar.

Sometimes it’s an overcompensation for being nervous, but if a candidate gets too comfortable in an interview it’s a bad sign. Humor is perfectly fine, and you want to see personality, but there’s a line that can’t be crossed. It’s like anyone you first meet, you expect good manners and politeness, and comfort within that zone but no stepping past it.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

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