Types of applicants who are not liked by any human resources expert by Dr. Bernd Slaghuis – When you’re nervous, bad habits can be particularly powerful. Coach Dr. Bernd Slaghuis explains how they work in application situations and how you get rid of them.
Yes, sometimes you behave like this
Would you hire a chatterbox, a know-it-all or a blasphemer as a new employee? As an applicant, you know you can’t come across a job interview like this. However, some candidates lose awareness of their behaviour and impact on personnel in a job interview. You text your interviewer, stack up or stage the best play of your life. And in the end you wonder why it didn’t work out again. To sensitize you for your next job interview, here are 10 types of applicants who make it really difficult for personnel to understand them.
1. The breathless
An interview is exciting. The interview partners and the location are unknown, perhaps it’s about the right job and the employer for the next few years. The way through the building to the “interrogation” room seems like a marathon to some candidates. And the “Please take a seat here” is immediately followed by “Tell us something about yourself”. And off we go! The type breathless now pants down what comes to his mind, gets muddled, seems confused and forgets point and comma. The own feeling of bad performance intensifies the breathlessness even more.
As an applicant, pay conscious attention to how you feel at the moment and what you feel. If your breathing is high, i.e. you breathe quickly from the top of your chest and not deep from your stomach, then try – especially at the beginning of the conversation – to calm down a bit and thus come back to you more. For a few breaths concentrate on deep and even breathing. You will quickly notice the relaxing effect. Perhaps you will also ask your interviewees to say something about themselves, the job and the company in order to arrive first. You may be excited as an applicant. I maintain that many a personaler is too.
2. The gossiper
This guy Chatter just can’t get to the point. One story follows the other. The short presentation becomes a 30-minute monologue. The unimportant is stretched out like chewing gum, the important facts are lost in the jargon. Chatterers are constantly in their own film. They don’t notice that they are boring their counterparts. They even ignore interposed questions from the HR department. After all, it’s more important to bring your own story to a close. The reenactment of entire conversations is popular: “Did he say …. and I like that … and he like that … and I said ….” You know that when someone talks a meatball to your ear? As an applicant you shouldn’t give your mustard to this 😉
The best exercise to avoid the chatter type in the job interview is active listening. Be aware of your counterpart. Listen and answer concretely to what is really needed. A story on the sidelines can loosen up the conversation and make you sympathetic. But it should remain a conversation in which even HR staff have their share of the speech and don’t have to wait until they take a breath. Have the courage to make a point with the feeling of having said enough in response to a question.
3. The Complicated
This is the type of complicated explanatory bear that is often stamped with the stamp of the theoretician. Even if I open a drawer now, I often experience it with engineers, physicists or mathematicians. Those who can think analytically sometimes seem a bit complicated in language. The complicated one first formulates each sentence perfectly in the brain and checks it with regard to its probable effect on the interlocutors before it is pronounced. If the applicant also has a high level of educational attainment, his or her own aspirations as an applicant in an interview to express himself or herself in a scientifically correct way seem particularly high.
Here it helps to make oneself aware before and during the interview that it is only a conversation between people like you and me who all just want to boil water and get to know each other as well as possible. And – in contrast to chatterers – it can also be advantageous to have the competence to think first and then speak. Accepting this yourself often contributes to one’s own relaxation.
4. The desperate emergency
“I’ve been looking for so long, I’m even applying for lower positions now and I’ve cut my salary.” You won’t believe how often I hear that sentence. Applicants think at some point that their chances increase if they apply for positions for which they are actually overqualified. And that’s the impression the “desperate emergency” also makes in conversation: he becomes a submissive supplicant and would do anything for it if someone finally gave him the opportunity.
Don’t signal in the interview how badly you need this job and how much your life depends on this decision of the recruiter. That makes you weak. If you feel desperate as an applicant, don’t lower your expectations and sell yourself below value, but rather pause for a moment and take stock: Are you still applying for the right positions? How could you change your search? In which situations do you stumble so far and what can you do differently in the future?
5. The young actor
This type of applicant already enters the building smiling calmly and keeps his mask on until the end. He has rehearsed his performance perfectly and can recite every answer to the typical personnel questions by heart. Each of his movements, facial expressions and body language are staged and subject to strict control. The actor does not allow a glimpse behind the façade of his real self. An interview is an exhibition and only the best impression counts!
It is difficult for personnel managers to assess an acting candidate. They will try to lure you out of the reserve. Otherwise, how are recruiters supposed to decide whether you get along with your boss and colleagues later in your real working life and whether you fit into the company? Be genuine, authentic and natural – naturally appropriate for the situation. In addition: If you mimic the actor in a job interview and are so convinced, you will often fall on your nose later on in the job. Because the applicant as an actor is so keen on the applause in the job interview that after the successful performance he himself has no clarity as to whether it really fits and on the first day on the job he wonders where he has landed.
6. The Bachelor
This guy has just finished his studies and, in his application as a trainee, promises to increase the Group’s yield by 20 percent p.a. and to lead the company to success. Slick as an eel and carrying the latest management methods with him, the “Bachelor” feels like the biggest pike. His strategy is to familiarize himself with the steep career path. He is firmly convinced that everything revolves around him and that everyone has just been waiting for him to finally enter the stage. The type “Bachelor” in his role as an applicant is often just the best actor, full of hot air.
Yes, applicants should sell themselves well and present themselves from their best side in order to win the job in competition with the other candidates. But those who stack too high, misjudge their real value and promise to save the world as career starters will lose their credibility. You can and should be proud of your degrees and professional experience, but show in the job interview that you can realistically assess your skills and have both feet on the ground.
7. The monosyllable
He’s making it hard for the HR guy to know anything about him. Every closed question is a welcome invitation to answer yes or no and expect the next question. This guy would rather say nothing than too much. If you want to know something, ask the right question – that’s his attitude. The monosyllable is the complete opposite of a chatterer or a storyteller.
Even if you are a reserved and quiet person by nature, as an applicant you are still open to the interview. Tell about yourself, your successes and experiences and what is important to you in your job and for a good cooperation. Offer your interlocutors topics that can be deepened and ask questions that interest you. Show real interest in the position and the company.
8. The blasphemous mouth
Every applicant knows today that he should not speak badly about the last employer in the interview. But sometimes the frustration and the disappointment are so deep or the emotions are still so fresh, that the blasphemous mouth comes out nevertheless. Sometimes also provoked by clever questions of the personnel. The type “blasphemous mouth” shows not only that it will spread also over the next employer bad tendency, but presents itself as poor victim of the bad old boss or the bad colleagues.
Would you bring such a blasphemer fresh on board as a new employee? Not me! Don’t get involved in revealing bad news about your last boss or colleagues. Even if you have the worst bullying behind you, stay objective in the conversation. “It didn’t fit anymore.” Point! “The values of the company/the boss didn’t fit to my attitude any more. This statement will surely be questioned, here you should be able to give thus also objective information, without pulling others by the dirt.
9. The little flag in the wind
This is the “yes-man” type without a personal opinion. In an interview, personnel managers test the applicants’ attitude to certain topics and how strongly they can represent them. The little flag in the wind changes its opinion as soon as its opposite could be of another opinion. Frequently the desire for harmony is behind it to want to make it all right. Straight high-level personnel, who have to make – also unpopular – decisions in their future position, make a weak impression as flags in the wind.
How fast do you wiggle? (Picture: pexels)
Take up a position as an applicant and stand by your opinion. But not as a stubborn know-it-all or an unteacher. Personalists want to realize that you can form your own opinion and represent it convincingly. Do not buckle at the slightest attempt at a different point of view or even see this as an attack or trap, but try to understand the other point of view and compare it objectively with your point of view. For the world is always what we think it is.
10. The fear hare
The chicken guy’s a master at worrying. He interprets every facial expression of his interlocutors and smells a mean trap behind every question. His thoughts are dominated by the question “May I say that?”, his posture expresses restraint, humility and unrestrained control. He perceives his interlocutors on the company side as powerful and standing above him.
Every HR person will understand if you are nervous, especially at the beginning of the conversation. Personally, I believe that you can also address this openly if it cannot be overlooked, for example because your fingers shake, you sweat excessively or your carotid artery threatens to burst. Because it often gets better when you don’t have to spend any more energy hiding something that’s already obvious.
What type of applicant are you?
My 10 examples are extreme cases. Of course there are also gradations and surely some characteristics are also useful for one or the other job. If you are applying as a press spokesperson, a little chattering and acting competence might not hurt 😉
Why did I write this post?
When working with applicants, I often observe that they lose their sense of how they work in a situation of high concentration and tension. They don’t notice when they are texting, boring and not even listening to their interviewees. They are not aware that they suddenly express themselves in a more complicated way than usual and that young students in particular, as career starters, do not notice that they are easily stacked too high.
My 10 exaggerated types should not intimidate you even more as an applicant by prohibiting behaviour, but rather encourage you to be who you really are. If you like to talk a lot or if you know that you are rather reserved, then this is no invitation to mutate to the opposite. Extro- or introversions belong to you and make you stand out.
Strength as an applicant your own awareness of your own and others’ perception of your behaviour. Ask other people in your environment for feedback on how they perceive you. For many applicants who come to me for coaching, my perception as a neutral outsider is important. So you can decide in view of upcoming job interviews whether it makes sense to change something in your behaviour or what you would like to pay more attention to.
This exciting article by Dr. Bernd Slaghuis has already appeared in his blog.