Over the last few months, we’ve been conducting interviews for various positions and it’s been difficult. Exceptional engineers are hard to come by. So between mobile game reviews and other technical posts, I wanted to take a moment and point out some do’s and don’ts for all you smart candidates out there:
Don’t Over Sell Yourself!
Sell yourself. Of course. But be careful, over selling yourself will lead to people not assessing your character and expertise correctly, which isn’t good. This is bad not only for the hiring company, but also for you, as the candidate. A wrong perception of who you are may cause you to:
- … be assigned to a position that doesn’t fit your knowledge.
- … work in a company that doesn’t fit your character.
- … be assigned a position that you don’t want.
- … not get the job by seeming arrogant or sometimes over qualified.
What does over selling yourself look like?
I’m not saying that candidates are lying. If I had a feeling a candidate was lying to me then, of course, I wouldn’t want to work with him. I’m talking about candidates that create an image of someone they aren’t just to get the position. When you create a wrong image, you:
- … say you know how to do something that you actually don’t.
- … say you know how to do something that you’re actually just 20% experienced in.
- … will try to put on a show and act like somebody you’re not. (If you’re not a loving & caring person, don’t try to be)
- … will try to answer questions you weren’t asked, thinking it will impress your interviewer.
- … will try to correct your interviewer and be wrong about it. (Oh god that’s a turn off 🙂 )
How To Not Over Sell Yourself
The evident result of over selling yourself is that you will very quickly be back on the market. And that’s if people in the company you joined really care about you. Smart managers know when a new candidate isn’t right and can recognize when they’ve hired the wrong person. Therefore, the best thing is for both sides to say goodbye nicely. It becomes even harder for managers to do this when they know they took the candidate from a previous workplace, but still the smart thing to do is part ways.
In order not to over sell yourself in an interview, think how you can help your interviewer. The guy sitting across from you asking questions and assessing your abilities is not there to fail you. He’s there to actually hire you. Give him the right reasons to hire you and not just reasons to hire you. Ask your interviewer: “What do you need?” and see if you fit that description. If the description is not clear enough, ask him to rephrase and make sure you have a clear understanding of the requirements and that they apply to you.
Another smart thing to do in an interview, is stay humble. Be patient, calm and answer what you’re asked. Don’t try to show how smart you are, if you’re smart it’ll be shown.
So stay focused, answer every question you’re asked and make sure you’re the right man for the job. The goal is not to win the interview, but to win the position that fits you most.