My candidate made it past two telephone interviews. One was with the regional manager and one was with the VP of sales. They fell in love with the guy. He had absolutely everything they needed and then some. They could see that he could grow with them and be with them for a long time through their growth that they plan to double the next couple of years.
Then, unfortunately, he went in for the face-to-face interview. It was a disaster. He began the interview by telling them how many other interviews he had, who else he was speaking with and the kind of offers he was expecting and then literally asked them, “What can you do for me?”
The first line manager told us (and she had been one of our candidates) that it was the worst interview that she had ever experienced. She suspected that the reason he was so, literally, obnoxious as she put it, was that he had only been in this present job for seven months and had made a really big mistake in taking the job. She suspected that he was so defensive that he literally went on the offensive and tried to establish himself as this fantastic candidate who people couldn’t live without. He absolutely totally blew it.
What’s worse, he thought he did a fantastic job on the interview. He was so busy telling them what fantastic interviews he had (which wasn’t true) that he overlooked selling himself and, most importantly asking them questions about the job and themselves.
Our client said that our candidate was probably the most qualified one she had interviewed, but he was the worst presenter that she had probably ever interviewed. She said she would never hire him even if he was the last candidate on earth. His ego was just plain too big.
I haven’t spoken to the candidate yet but it will be very interesting to see what he says about how he presented himself. The message is clear! Don’t be defensive! Don’t oversell yourself! Keep it simple. Don’t let your ego out run your game.