My husband cheated.. I’m in a messy divorce... the ointment’s not working and 2 DUI’s put me in financial crisis while waiting for my wrongful termination settlement check to arrive....

.... So why won't you hire me?


People say the darnedest things. What might be okay to bring up during a personal conversation may not be a good idea in a professional one.

During the interview process keep your personal stuff to yourself. Be honest, but don’t divulge too much information that is not relevant to your professional background.

Sharing too much information about yourself, such as your financial difficulties, the lawsuit you filed against your last employer or any other information not relevant about why you are the perfect candidate for the job might just cost you that opportunity.

Interviews are an opportunity to make a great first impression about why you are the “perfect” candidate for an interviewers opening. Even if you end up not getting the job offer at that time, the lasting impression you make during this interview process just may land you the next opening.

For many of us it might seem like simple common sense not share your personal issues to what might possibly be your next possible hiring manager. But at times, we may have a lapse in judgment and let something slip out in conversation. After all, we are human and vulnerability and emotion can get the best of us. Prior to your interview, you may have just received word that your utility bill is past due, your mortgage APR just went up or of some other financial hardship. You may just really NEED this job.

The hiring manager is looking for the right skills and experience relevant to their open role and wants to better understand if you are the right person to hire. Sharing all your personal woes will only make a hiring manager wonder, will you also share their trade secrets if you are hired?

It’s like a new skill to master, but try to gather as much information as possible regarding an open opportunity before sharing your career highlights. This will give you an opportunity to position yourself accordingly and select the right examples of your abilities to sell yourself into the role.

I’ve found that some active job seekers are sometimes too eager to share their salary expectations during an opening statement like this:

“I will NOT consider an opportunity if it is less than XXXXX.”

When it’s uncovered that the position actually pays XX, it becomes difficult to back track without losing some credibility. Avoiding salary talks until you completely understand what the opening actually pays will benefit you in the long run. Of course, this is a negotiating skill to some degree and you have to be good at being able to skirt around the subject while asking the right questions. If done wrong, it can also hurt your chances for consideration, so tread lightly.

Active job seekers should never lie on their application or fudge on their resume. Giving out false information could also cost you a great position. A former candidate of mine fibbed a little on their employment application with one entire year of employment dates. Because the job offer was contingent on a background check and government security clearance, the inaccuracy came up and the job offer was rescinded.

Keeping in mind at all times that the interview is a professional setting and qualifying an opportunity by listening to the hiring managers needs will more often than not benefit your chances of landing a job offer. If you find that you are having a really difficult time mastering the successful job hunt, it may be a good time to hire an experienced career coach to pin point just what might be failing for you. Sometimes it might be what your sharing is inappropriate and it's costing you the job.

Where do you think personal issues belong?

Views: 122

Comment by Maureen Sharib on December 12, 2008 at 5:10pm
Who could resist reading THIS?

Personal issues belong on your person AT ALL TIMES in a professional setting. Keep your problems to yourself. Nobody wants to hear them as salacious as they might be.
Comment by Slouch on December 12, 2008 at 5:14pm
unless it's on the chat system here at RBC.
Comment by Maureen Sharib on December 12, 2008 at 5:17pm
Oh yeah. And then WE'RE ALL EYEBALLS.
Comment by Heather Gardner on December 12, 2008 at 6:34pm
.... but not in a professional interview, right?
Comment by Sheila on December 12, 2008 at 8:20pm
If a person has some heavy situations on their plate, it is better to schedule interviews when they can be as upbeat as possible. People hire your personality as well as your skill set. Mostly, hiring managers want to know if you will fit into their culture, their environment, not rock the boat and make them look good for hiring you.

Interviews are SALES at the highest level. What they are buying is...YOU!
Comment by Faisal Javed on December 13, 2008 at 1:12pm
Its all about how you can sell yourself, skills, experience and honesty. There is nothing personal in an interview so being personal is always risky.
Praising the hiring manager is also risky as they are not sitting to listen about their appearance or personality, it is better to tell them about their company future plans so they can understand that you are well prepared and handy with all information.
Tell them about what they are doing and what would be your share in bringing their company to the next level. How your skills can benefit them in the long and short term and how you had managed the similar situation in the past.

Nice post Heather, keep such information coming...


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