After weeks and months of unsuccessful interviews, desperation has a tendency to creep in to the attitudes, demeanors and interview responses of many job seekers. This is especially true after many “promising” interviews, but the job offer does not come through as expected. Unfortunately, employment desperation often leads to unfortunate interview conversations which may actually cost you a job in the long run. Here are some tips on how not to let employment desperation work against you in the interview.
Steer clear of discussions regarding previous interviews. This includes the number of interviews or the lack of response following your interviews. Interviewers will not bring up the topic unless you are their top candidate and only if they think you might be offered another position before they can offer. You may think, “what’s the harm in sharing this, after all everyone knows it’s a tough job market.” True. Recruiters understand how tough the job market is. They receive thousands of resumes for almost every job. Unfortunately, this tactic still usually backfires.
If you are one of the fortunate applicants selected for an interview, obviously you have the required skills, at least on paper. Focus on this fact during the interview rather then focusing on previous “failed interviews”. If you mention failed interviews too many times the recruiter will start wondering why you have not been hired by any of the other companies. Give a wrong answer or come across with the slightest attitude about previous interviews and you have just sealed your fate. You will have answered their question about “why not” you.
Do not discuss your need for, nor beg for “a job.” Sometimes applicants attempt to play on the interviewer's sympathy by discussing their need for a job after having been on so many interviews. This blatant plea often reveals low self-confidence and/or manipulation. In other words, you may come across as pathetic rather then a strong potential hire who can hit the ground running. Stating your need for “a job” also implies that your focus is not on the organization, but your own personal gain.
Remember the interviewer is not a therapist. An interview is not the time to throw a “pity party”. They are looking for the best candidate to fill the position. Employers are not in business to help employees actually make a living. They are in business to service their customers. They are not obligated to give you a job because of your personal circumstances. Help yourself to become gainfully employed by highlighting your potential contributions to the organization. Focus on your skills rather than your bills and the next job may be yours.