Breaking Through “Interview Filters”

July 16th, 2013

Have you ever heard of an interview filter?

If you’re in the midst of a job search, you probably have enough to worry about without another buzz-word to further muddle your mind. But this is one catch phrase you should be aware of – and prepared to overcome – as you interact with an increasing number of HR and hiring managers.

Interview filters are the subtle, unspoken nuances used as part of the candidate evaluation process. While not scientific or data based or even very concrete, these filters can be deal breakers in terms of whether or not a candidate is selected to move forward in the interview process.

Here are a few interview filters to be aware of and how you should handle them:

Do You Have the Right Attitude?

Job searching is an emotional roller coaster ride, and maintaining a positive outlook may be easier said than done. A long job search can cause your morale to become diminished, which can be conveyed to employers in interviews. When preparing for interviews, do not just think about how you will answer questions, but also make sure your attitude going into the interview is professional, enthusiastic, and positive.

The interviewer(s) will be evaluating you to see what your attitude is throughout the interview. How you answer questions, non-verbal communication cues, and tone of voice all paint a picture of your overall attitude. For example, if you are negative when discussing a previous job, or are warm and enthusiastic when discussing previous teams and projects, the interviewer will take this into consideration and wonder if this is the attitude you would have at their company if they hired you.

To have the appropriate attitude during an interview, follow these tips during your interview preparation and your career:

  • Be kind to yourself. Don’t let the job search grind get you down. Focus on your accomplishments and successes, and remain proud of yourself.
  • Don’t take things personally. Learn from your experiences, good and bad. Consider setbacks as constructive criticism, and move on.
  • Keep growing. A poor attitude can result from boredom or frustration. Work to build your skills, take a course, go to a conference, or volunteer.
  • Vent. Talk, journal or blog about what you’re experiencing.
  • Reward yourself. Even a small task completed or step taken is worth patting yourself on the back.

When all is said and done, a positive attitude leads to positive results and ultimately, to career success.

Are You a Leader or a Follower?

Any hiring manager worth his position is seeking leaders at all levels of his organization. Interview filters may help identify these leadership traits within candidates. Several traits that the interviewer is looking for include:

  • Vision: A clear picture of what success looks like and how to achieve it. And, the ability to communicate and engage others in realizing this vision.
  • Integrity: A firm commitment to one’s core values, which are consistently reflected in a leader’s outward actions.
  • Magnanimity: Leaders give credit where it’s due and take personal responsibility for failures. This builds teams and helps others feel good about themselves.
  • Open Mindedness: Willingness to listen to others, embrace change, and accept new ways of doing things, even if it wasn’t their idea.

Other interview filters include your level of attention to detail and the degree of enthusiasm you display toward a position, company or business. While the interview filter concept may be new to you, it’s important to understand it as you progress with your job search.

A career coach can be an excellent resource for staying positive and on point throughout your job search experience. Contact Select Group, Inc. and we can help you better understand interview filters and related job search tools, tactics and strategies. We look forward to hearing from you!

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