Even if a potential employer has you in their sights, you still have to complete a successful job interview to (hopefully) get the job.
Mike Lakusta is a young engineer who had just started his career at an oil and gas startup when he was laid off last fall. Luckily, he caught the attention of company E.H. Price, which had an opening for a sales engineer, during his appearances in Global News’ Surviving the Slump series.
Thrilled to get an interview, Lakusta began working with career coach Richard Bucher to learn how to sell himself.
Acing an interview: don’t say you’re a “perfectionist”
It’s common for employers to ask interviewees about their weaknesses or worst qualities.
According to Bucher, the best thing to do is to be honest and avoid answers like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard.”
“These are the kind of answers that make interviewers feel physically ill, because they’re generic, they’re not authentic and they’re not genuine,” Bucher said.
“Really you’re saying to the interviewer ‘you’re going to have to hire me to find out when I screw up, and then you’ll know what my weakness is.’”
Instead, Bucher said it’s better to name a real weakness, how you have handled it, and the outcome.
Acing an interview: how to handle salary expectations
Another common topic that can be handled poorly is salary expectations.
Butcher warns giving a specific number – or even a range – might ruin your chances of getting an offer.
“As soon as you give a number, you’ve just told them how much you cost,” Bucher said.
He suggested a better response may be something along the lines of “I really have complete confidence in the company that I would be offered a salary that’s commensurate with my experience and this role.”
Mike got the job!
Lakusta’s work with Bucher paid off; he was offered a job with E.H. Price.
He said he was relieved to find a position where he could use his training as a mechanical engineer.
Watch below: Global’s ongoing series – Surviving the Slump