A few weeks ago we pondered Donald Trump’s bombastic style of “interviewing” in the debates. Obviously, it didn’t matter that his style in the debates wasn’t the best to “land the job.” Obviously, a person can have even a number of bad interviews and still get hired.
Now comes one of the most common interviewing excuses of all time. What’s so amazing about this excuse is that I hear it at least three or four times a week, maybe even more. It is the excuse that, “I didn’t get the job because of someone else.” In Sec. Clinton’s case, she was blaming James Comey for her losing the election. Last week, I had three candidates that didn’t get a job because, in their words, “my last boss was an idiot”… “I couldn’t find my references fast enough”… “I know I didn’t sell myself very well, but they should know that I’ve got a job and they should come after me if they want me.”
There are literally thousands of excuses every day of why people don’t get hired. Unfortunately, 99% of them involved blaming other people. A month or two ago I had a candidate tell me that he didn’t interview very well because he had to take their dog to the vet before the interview and he was distracted by the dog’s illness (….the dog’s fault). Don’t laugh, over the years I’ve heard things like, “I couldn’t find a parking spot (… so I was 20 minutes late)”… “My spouse and I had a fight night before,”… “I stayed up too late watching the ballgame and didn’t get enough sleep”… “I fell asleep in the lobby, waiting for the interviewer because their music was so relaxing.” I could go on with reasons you wouldn’t believe, but rarely does anybody say, “you know I didn’t get the job because I just totally messed up… and next time I’ll do better!”
I guess it’s human nature to want to blame someone else when you don’t get hired or when the outcomes of an event don’t go in your favor. But it’s always best to look within yourself and ask, “what did I do to go wrong here?” There are boatloads of people, this week, who are speculating where Hillary went wrong and lost the election. In spite of all of the phenomenal number of excuses that there are… like, just not paying attention to the real folks in this country… the only thing we’ve heard from Hillary herself, yesterday, is that she’s blaming James Comey. Instead of turning to her party and saying, “here’s where I messed up…” she’s blaming someone else.
Here’s the lesson: we may not be able to control what happens to us. But we can control how we respond to it. If we respond to what happens to us by blaming other people instead of asking ourselves what we could have done to be better, we will perpetuate our “losing.” If we admit our mistakes and take responsibility for what we could have done better we grow to not only become better at the task but also as better people.