Career Calling

July 24, 2014

Canned, Scripted Answers Won’t Land the Job

 

One of my friends runs a small business. He is currently looking for someone he can rely on to manage the business when he is out of the office. He showed me two resumes and asked me which candidate was superior. I chose the candidate who claimed to have had a similar position for five years. My friend laughed and said he did the same thing, which seemed to make sense until he interviewed both candidates.

The candidate with more experience gave canned answers and often contradicted himself. When my friend asked him what accomplishment made him proudest, he talked about being trained to work as a manager. The other candidate had less experience, but she listened to what my friend was saying and answered his questions in a manner that sounded sincere and honest. She said she was proudest of her ability to take on extra responsibility. My friend was impressed by the kind of detail she used and the level of passion she showed. He felt that she really wanted to work for him. The candidate with more experience just wanted a new job that paid more. Guess who got the job? The person with less experience who presented herself as somebody who could do the job and wanted to do it.

Beware of scripting answers when you prepare for a job interview. Good managers see through this trick. Know your strengths and be able to sell them in your normal speaking voice. Show why you want to do the job and why you’ll do it well.

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