Tip To Overcome Interviewing Problems.

A preemptive strike works:

I came home from work one day, and had just walked in the house, when my son came up to me to tell me we needed to talk. He is too young for the birds and bees and probably knows that anyway, so I knew something was up. He explained while practicing his pitching for baseball, he threw a wide pitch and broke the window above the garage. I said “no big deal, all boys break a window once in a while.” He said, “Well that is not all. After that I moved to the other side of the garage and threw another wide pitch and broke the other window too.” He was scared I would be really mad. I thought, “How can I be mad. You stole all my thunder by coming to me. I didn’t have time to get mad.” He performed a preemptive strike.

How does this relate to a search? I was doing a search for a CFO, and one candidate’s resume indicated a lot of turnover. As I went through his background, it became clear that there were great reasons for the turnover and in most cases the company turned him over, not the other way around. The problem was, he wasn’t addressing these in the interview right up front. Basically, he wasn’t defusing a negative situation.

We changed that and put together a script that dealt with the turnover right up front. In the interview, he preempted the interviewer by saying “I realize from my resume, that it appears that I have a lot of turnover, and I can understand why one would think that. Let me explain the circumstances surrounding the turnover and I’m sure it will help clarify this issue.” This defused the situation and completely eliminated any confusion and there wasn’t a problem. The candidate demonstrated they had nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

The candidate did get a job and wrote to us saying he felt this technique played a major role in getting past the first interview.

Also, in case you are wondering, my son has broken the same windows again. I now buy replacement windows in bulk.

The worst thing candidates can do is assume that because the interviewer didn’t bring up the issue it means it isn’t an issue. The fact is, the interviewer is thinking it isn’t an issue worth discussing, because they have already come to a conclusion without even discussing it.

By bringing the issue up first it allows you to discuss it openly and clearly demonstrates you have nothing to hide.

Our “Complete Job Search Home Study Course” addresses exactly how to handle this and many other issues candidates encounter and often mishandle during their job search. One misstep like the one above can cost you a job, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost wages. To review the content of the home study course and have it sent to you for only$14.95 (We will even pay the shipping.) CLICK HERE.

For many more tips and help, join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. It is free, and provides a wealth of great discussion and news. CLICK HERE

Join us on the radio every Monday at 11AM PDT on www.latalkradio.com as Barry and I discuss a variety of topics to shorten your time in search. Our audio library has past shows for you to download for free. CLICK HERE


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  • By Heidi, September 9, 2009 @ 8:57 am

    Also known as “naming the resistance”. Great post. Thank you. ~ heidi

  • By Gerald Richerson, September 11, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

    Great tactic for interviewing but how do you defuse this “job hopping” preception in the screening process? Do you put something in your cover letter or what? If this gets in the way before you can even tell your story I don’t see a way to overcome it.

    Preceptions Kill Good Opportunities

  • bradremillard

    By bradremillard, September 11, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

    It depends on the reason for the turnover. Often it is the company turnover on the person. If this is your case you can add it in a cover letter. You can also add a line in your resume under each position that states the reason for leaving. This will help demonstrate it wasn’t always you leaving the company.

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