Job Interview BS

As I mentioned on an earlier post, I recently have been to Munich and plan to move there quite soon with my partner. The main reason I was in Munich was to attend a job interview for a technical IT support position for an international company.

This interview was my second contact with the person responsible for hiring. About one month ago I had the first interview by phone and the guy sounded excited. I liked the position as it sounded challenging and would allow me to learn new skills that could be useful for my career. The requirements did not match exactly my profile but they were reasonably close and one of my main strength is that I easily learn things.

So there I go to my interview. I put my nice shoes and get my best face ready. Throughout the interview I had the feeling everything was going well. Questions were being asked and I thought my answers were good. There was a good feeling in the office, no silence, just an honest conversation about my career for about 1 hour.

In the end of the interview I was told that they would be talking to other candidates during the following week and would inform me of their decision soon. Today (2 working days later), I got the news that they would not pursue my application. Well, as, theoretically, they were still interviewing people it was clear that I messed up the interview.

I am now reflecting what could have gone wrong. I must say that I am extremely sincere. I don´t see a point to BS and pretend to be someone else during job interviews. I don´t like that crap of “my worse defect is to be perfectionist”.

There were two moments in the interview that I feel that I could have messed up.

The first was when I was asked where did I see myself in five years. My answer was that in five years I could not be sure that I was in their company anymore because my plans in Munich are not for five years, but at most three. That doesn´t mean that I would not be there anymore – just that I could not lie and say “Yes, I hope to be here doing my job the best possible way”.

The second moment was when asked if my managers would give me a positive reference. I should just have said “Yes, they love me and my work”. Unfortunately I was again very sincere and said that one my managers would give positive references to anyone and the other one would probably also give positive references but could mention that I am not the best person to follow procedures (stupid procedures, of course).

Unfortunately I don´t know if I will be sincere in my next interview. Most probably I will just follow the suggestions of an ex-manager of mine and BS all the way. Why take risk in an authentic sincere employee when you can just hire the perfect BS´er.

Anyway, I believe that in life things happen for a reason – call it destiny, coincidence or just luck. If I did not get this position it is because either it would not be that good for me or something else better will come up. I am sure that the existence of this blog is related with the failure in this interview. I like my IT career – but I must open my eyes and see that I am not 100% happy with it and I should slowly pursue other dreams.

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4 Responses to Job Interview BS

  1. Speaking as the bullshitting ex-manager I would offer this advice: Rather than “my worse defect is to be perfectionist”, you should sat “In the PAST (implying not now), SOME PEOPLE (implying not many people) have said I pay too much attention to detail (always better than the alternative). Since I became aware of that flaw I now make a conscious effort to balance detail with blah blah blah….”. Then add some fairly modern uncontroversial buzzwords and catchphrases to confirm all the crap they just read and think is true. “Yes outsourcing to India is working really well; I’m interested in migrating to the cloud provided it fits with the corporate culture; Crowdsourcing is an interesting development; Factory testing; Context-Driven; Information Security Management System; and so on….”

    As for references: “I would waste no time in offering Mr. Bamps a position”. Hah hah hah!

  2. whizgig says:

    If you don’t bs of some sort you’ll never get a job. You have to play the game. That doesn’t mean blatant lying but when they ask you where you expect to be in 5 years, they want to know – in context too – working at their company. You can safely mention personal skills you hope to acquire without the need to mention you might not even be in the same country.

  3. mbamps says:

    Yep, the world is built on stupid lies where the biggest bullshitter survives. Sometimes I really hope for the apocalypse zombie holocaust… Good thing I will have a rich women and I will be able to go out of the rat race 😛

  4. hildeberto says:

    The best answer to the 5 years’ planning is: “I live the present. We decide together how it’s going to be the future” 😉

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