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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.


Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

What Interviewers are Really Thinking

Kent Nolen

I got a few questions like this after recently posting about nailing your resume and job interview.

Q: While I appreciate your thoughts on being mindful of how you present yourself, I don't know that I see the harm in coming off as extremely professional and qualified. Even if that means my personality is dimmed a bit. Isn't it the hiring team's job to extend an offer to the most qualified applicant?

A: Well, yes and no. Many would argue that the goal is to hire the most suitable candidate. But that's not what you're really asking.

Professionalism – even extreme professionalism – is never out of order in a job interview. Let me make that perfectly clear. If you're going to skew, that's definitely the way you want to skew.

However, what I was intending to do with that post is to give readers some insight into the reality behind the hiring process. Remember, much of my professional work is on that side of the table.

Injecting you – a polished yet personable you – is important for a couple of reasons:

1) Like it or not, the people who are interviewing with you are imagining having to work with you several days a week. People like to work with people they like. Period. 

2) Those same people interviewing you do not want to feel threatened by you. Remember, they have their own careers and professional trajectory to keep in mind. So, coming off as overly "buttoned up" can send a message that some interviewers don't want to hear.

This is behind-the-scenes sort of stuff. Not right or wrong. Just the reality.