Career Calling

May 5, 2013

Getting Too Personal

A friend of mine is in HR, and he told me two interesting stories about how candidates talked themselves out of a job by focusing too much on personal issues.

In one case, a candidate whose primary function was not client facing said that he did not really care to interact with the company’s type of client.  In one sense, it shouldn’t matter since he’d seldom meet a client.  Still, a VP told my client that he wants an organization that is totally client focused.  By talking too much about his personal preferences, this candidate talked himself out of a job.

In the other case, a candidate rambled on for 10 minutes about his daughter’s professional accomplishments.  Both my client and his boss tried to redirect the candidate to his qualifications for the job, but he was determined to finish his story about his daughter.  In doing so, he showed terrible communications skills and a lack of respect.  It’s great that this candidate loves his daughter, but his demonstration of love was not appropriate for a job interview.

Bottom line: Keep business about business.  Revealing personal information in a job interview can often boomerang and hurt a candidate’s chance of landing a job.  Keep focused on what the company needs and how you can contribute to its success.

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