Don’t say “We” in your job interview

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Recently a job seeker approached HR Difference for job interview advice from a human resources perspective. Apparently he interviewed for an acting project management job after many years in a similar role with several commendations but was bypassed for someone else.

After our discussion, it was revealed that the reason he was bypassed was due to poor job interview responses. The feedback given by the company’s human resources panel was that the candidate failed to answer the behavioral questions clearly and therefore responses were weak. After probing him about the interview, we realized that one place of improvement he lacked was self acknowledgement. When he was asked to give an example such as; “Describe the most complex business problem you have conducted analysis on and what recommendations or solutions did you make?” he responded by using “we”. As such the interviewer and hiring manager was not clear what the candidate’s role was in the situation.

In our years of interviewing candidates, we have seen first hand many candidates trying to look like a team players by using the word “we”. While this works in everyday conversation, it does not serve you well in job interviews. The reason is that when you use the word “we”, the hiring manager does not know what your immediate role was in a situation. For example, the interviewer asks to “tell me about a time when you resolved conflict with a client?” and you respond, “We had a big client …..We had to do this and that ….we ended up saving the account…..” and so forth. In this example, you can see how it is virtually impossible for the human resources person and the hiring manager to determine what the candidate’s role actually was.

Remember, when a question asks “you” it is your chance to shine in a job interview, so use the word “I” when responding to questions. This will make you stand out from the other candidates and your personal knowledge, skills and abilities will not be overlooked in your response.

Information provided by HR Difference.

Our HR team specializes in providing small and medium sized companies with cost-efficient and customized human resources solutions to meet your need and budget. We also provide custom resume writing and telephone job interview coaching for job seekers.

“We are your HR Difference”

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