“When the obvious isn’t” Surprising interview mistakes

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Many interviewers ask the question; “Where do you see yourself in ____ years?” If you’ve heard this question before, the answer may seem obvious, such as  “working with your company…climbing the corporate ladder blah blah blah” you get the picture, but believe it or not even the most seemingly simple interview questions can trip people up.

A case in point…

A few years ago, a confident and friendly lady came into the office looking for advice on her job search. She was clearly frustrated with the lack of progress she was making in getting a job as an Admin Assistant, since she’d landed multiple interviews but hadn’t gotten any job offers. Since she’d just started searching and the calls for interviews were numerous, it was clear that her resume was good and her skills and experience were in high demand. As our chat continued it was obvious she presented very well and was extremely articulate, so no problems there. Needless to say I was stumped….why was she not getting hired?

I decided the best way to find out was through a mock interview. The day of the interview everything was going great, her answers were strong and to the point, that is until the aforementioned question: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” then came the shocking truth.

She answered “she wanted the interviewers job since she had the skills and experience to do it just as well if not better.”

BINGO!  

 Everything fell into place; I’d finally had my answer. I then asked her how the hiring managers responded, she said they usually stared at her then promptly ended the interview. Not surprising to say the least! I’d do the same….

Apparently she received some bad advice from a well-meaning friend regarding how to handle this question. Her friend thought it showed initiative and drive and unfortunately my former client had been using it ever since! Luckily this “tactic” was nipped in the bud, but it goes to show that sometimes seemingly straightforward questions can cause major problems.

Oh, and yes she did get a great job in her field shortly after.

Elaine Logie is a student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program and MCACESBlogger. Like what you read? Be sure to follow MCACESBlogs and join our active social media community, http://www.facebook.com/mcaces. 

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