Interviewing over 70 and referring around 150 candidates annually, I have observed the spectrum of interview skills. I would hope that candidates who interview on the extremes- exceptionally poorly or exceptionally well- should, when telling a friend about their interview later, be able to identify why.
The candidate who faces the most frustrations on the job search is the average candidate. She’s on time. She wears a suit. She speaks well and makes good eye contact. She remembers to ask at least one question and always sends a thank you note. So why is she consistently the back-up choice?
It’s because she is not memorable. While checking all the boxes, she does not inspire the interviewer to champion her candidacy. To move up and out of the average column, candidates need to think less about how to “ace” the question and more about what the interviewer is really asking. They need to think less about demonstrating that they can interview and more about content.
This idea was the impetus for my second The Daily Muse post: Interview Translation: What 4 Common Questions Really Mean.