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Job Interviews – How to Reassure the Paranoid Employer

by THEA kelley | September 17, 2013

Job Interviews - How to Reassure Your Paranoid InterviewerHiring the wrong person can easily cost an employer $25,000, even $50,000. It’s also well known that many candidates lie in job interviews or make exaggerated claims about their experience and skills.

Put these facts together and you can easily understand why interviewers may feel a little paranoid. Whether you’re saying you’re a fast learner, a power user of Excel, or passionate about the insurance industry – they’re not necessarily inclined to believe it.

Here are a few ways to convince an interviewer that you’re really as good as you say you are.

Prove it.

If you’re interviewing for a job that requires you to be detail oriented, show those skills by crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” during the interview process. If it’s a marketing job, market yourself. Show your presentation and communication skills by adeptly handling video interviews.

You may want to consider presenting a 90-day plan at interviews, showing how you will ramp up to begin delivering results. This is common in interviews for management positions, and it can be adapted to other openings as well. It takes time to write a smart, well-researched plan of action, but it offers strong evidence for your motivation and your understanding of the company and the job.

Have someone else speak for you.

Quote someone else’s words (mentioning that this person will be giving you a reference), show letters of recommendation, or refer to the recommendations in your LinkedIn profile.

Read my post on how to give and request LinkedIn recommendations.

Back up your claims with specifics.

Tell success stories, using the SOAR approach, describing the Situation, the Obstacles you overcame, the Actions you took and the Results. (See my article, Job Search Storytelling that SOARs.) Stories are more convincing than vague remarks.

Help your fearful interviewer feel confident about hiring you.  (This post was originally published in 2013 and has been upated for the 2020s.)

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