With so many talented professionals seeking work in today’s job market, it is interesting to see a number of bright and capable individuals having trouble overcoming themselves during these tough times. For those who have been successful time and again in stronger markets, the loss of career footing is truly disconcerting. The previously successful professional who never experienced pause or setback is now faced with a task that is proving to be very challenging on many different levels.

What I see in my practice is that most people are internalizing their situation, and this has a negative impact on how a person comes across to the recruiter during an interview. I pick up a mask, a veneer, or a numbness coming across from certain candidates that I interview, and it sabotages their interview performance. The candidate who is trying to bury his or her feelings about being in the job market can comes across to me as either seething with anger beneath a very thin surface of civility or wrung out and zapped of positive energy. Often, the candidate is completely unaware that he or she is being passive aggressive, non-responsive, or just plain boring during an interview. The unfortunate reality that comes with this is the candidate not performing to their true potential during the interview.

The feelings you’re not admitting are holding you back. Air them out. You’ll feel better and you’ll perform better. Call me: you talk, I listen, and then we strategize on your right next step. And, I promise, I won’t tell.

Views: 75

Comment by Ambrish Kochikar on August 19, 2009 at 6:55pm
Well said, Suzanne. Whenever I've picked up on the undercurrents you've so eloquently described, I, and I suppose you and a lot of other recruiters, have tried to inspire the candidates to adopt a positive outlook and to make a conscious attempt to treat every interview as an opportunity to break the cycle of negative impulses leading to uninspired performances.Some candidates just can't seem to get out of the funk (despite trying everyday to do their best). It's one of those things..you don't see it and need a friend or a guide to help you see it and overcome it. For a lot of lucky candidates, good recruiters play that role.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on August 22, 2009 at 2:36am
The situation you have described, Suzanne, seems to be particularly true for those candidates that have previously been through redundancies, finding it now tougher in a difficult job market. The feedback and support by perceptive recruiters is important to accelerate their job search progress. This is probably an area where more constructive feedback from a recruiter is required.

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