Employers reveal the little things successful people do in interviews to get the job
When you’re rejected from what you think is your dream job, it can be crushing and hard to know what really went wrong in your interview – was it something you said?
Often when you ask for feedback – much like when you ask an ex why they’re breaking up with you – they fob you off with a lie to soften the blow.
But now hiring managers are revealing what successful employees did in their interviews that made them get the job.
Sometimes it’s a case of packaging seemingly unrelated experience in an impressive way, as one employer described in a Reddit forum.
An extremely qualified candidate came in for interview, but he’d listed a previous employer as “the Atlantic Ocean.”
When questioned about it, the candidate responded: “I was a fisherman for two years, and moved around a lot. I met a lot of great people, and learned a lot, but I hated it. I didn’t get to think through complex problems, and I wasn’t really helping anyone.
“It’s what convinced me to get my PhD. I didn’t want to leave that part of my work history blank, and I find that it’s better if I bring it up, since it’s the driving force behind where I am today.”
And this honesty hugely impressed the interviewer, who said that he went from thinking “This guy seems weird,” to “Damn, I have a lot of respect for him” in 30 seconds flat.
It can be tempting to try and blag your way into a job – they do say ‘fake it till you make it’, after all – but many employers believe honesty is the best policy.
“I asked him if he had experience in a specific area of the field and he said ‘Not really, no. Sorry.’ All other potential hires said yes and, on closer examination, did not at all,” one manager explained.
“‘Not really, no’ got the job because we knew he wouldn’t bulls*** us.”
Being honest can reveal a lot about your personality and make it clear you’re not a robot. And another way to make yourself memorable is through comedy.
When one man was asked: “Do you have any experience with kids?” He responded: “I was a kid once.” The employer found it so funny that he hired the man
But although humour can work on some people, others might consider it unprofessional and inappropriate, so it’s a risky strategy.
Something that should never backfire, however, is being a decent and polite person. Whether you help your employer with a technical problem they’re having or simply let someone else into the lift before you, it’s important to remember that the interview really begins before it begins.
One person explained just how important this can be:
“In a company that I used to work for, interviews were scored. The candidate got points for education, experience, interview skill etc. There were always five points for ‘receptionist.’
“Quite simply the receptionist out the front would be able to give a mark out of five.”
If a person rudely said to the receptionist: “Mr Smith is expecting me” while talking on the phone, he would probably score zero.
One candidate was once scored 10 by the receptionist: “As the guy got out of the lift, a staff member got out in front of him and dropped her load of files she was carrying. The guy immediately stopped, helped her collect everything, and helped her tidy stuff up.
“Then when he was in the reception waiting area, the coffee man came by (he comes by every day to see if anyone wants to buy coffee). The candidate asked the receptionist what the staff member’s name was, and arranged for her to be sent a coffee.
“He got the job. He also got the girl, whom he is now married to.”
A wife and a job all because of good manners? Not a bad day.