Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Was Said, What Was Heard...

The following is from a recent article by Robyn Greenspan. Robyn is the Editor-in-Chief at ExecuNet, the leading business network for senior executives, where she is responsible for setting and driving the editorial content strategy across ExecuNet's online and offline publications and webinar programming. She also writes and produces the company's widely cited and highly recognized research project, the annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report:

Things are not always as they seem, and the same can sometimes be true on job interviews.
My colleague Laura Magnuson, who works closely with our recruiter members, and I were recently talking about the typical phrases said at job interviews and what might have been heard. Hope you find a few laughs ahead and nothing that hits too close to home.

Candidate to Interviewer:

What was said: I'm a very fast learner.
What was heard: I don’t have the experience you're looking for.

What was said: I would change positions for the right opportunity.
What was heard: Make me an offer.

What was said: I've been an independent business consultant for the past two years.
What was heard: I’ve been out of work for two years.

What was said: I'd rather not talk about salary yet.
What was heard: I’m hoping you make me an offer before I have to disclose my low salary.

What was said: I left my last position because I wasn't being challenged enough.
What was heard: My last company didn’t trust me with the higher level responsibilities.

What was said: I'll get back to you with the names and contact information for my references.
What was heard: I have to call around first and tell people what I want them to say.

What was said: My leadership style is very honest and very direct.
What was heard: I' m abrasive, have no tact and don't get along well with people.

What was said: I'm a perfectionist and very detail-oriented.
What was heard: I'm a micromanager and don’t trust anyone on my team.

Interviewer to Candidate:

What was said: This is a very hands-on position.
What was heard: You'll have limited resources and be expected to do things that are beneath you.

What was said: You have an extensive work history and are highly overqualified.
What was heard: We're looking for someone younger and less expensive.

What was said: Thank you for coming in today; we have a few more people to see and then we'll get back to you.
What was heard: You won't hear from us again.


Over the next couple of weeks I’ll add some of my “What Was Said, What Was Heard” personal favorites….only these exchanges will be between the Candidate and the Headhunter or the Hiring Authority and the Headhunter.

For example:

Candidate to Headhunter:
What was said: I might be willing to consider relocation for just the right situation.
What was heard: I’ll move if there’s enough money to offset my spouse giving up their job and I can afford to put my kids in private school.

Hiring Authority to Headhunter:
What was said: We have interviewed a number of people for this position but just haven’t found the right fit. So we thought it was time to utilize your services. You guys are the pros.
What was heard: My boss won’t let me hire anyone unless they are the perfect fit and are willing to work cheap. Now I'm using you to show my boss that I've actually interviewed really good candidates and we just need to offer a better compensation package in order to hire one of them. I think you contingency fee recruiters are suckers.

More to come next week….

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