Do you Have Interview Cancer?

By: Raymond Sahley

I have a friend named Owen, who I recently worked with to find him a new career in the restaurant industry. I am a restaurant management recruiter, but more importantly, a career coach and a developer of interviewing talent. I worked with him in my past life as a restaurant manager, so I knew what his accomplishments and strengths were and how he could improve a team. I also knew that he was going to be one of the most challenging candidates I would ever work with!

You see the problem with Owen was his inability to grasp his own assessment of his career and past experiences. He was a great manager and a solid leader, but he absolutely had no understanding of his abilities and how to market them to a prospective employer. He was in a dead end job with no potential growth or upside, but he soldiered on everyday thinking it would get better or at least it couldn't get any worse. I knew I had to break him of these cancerous thoughts and replace that negative mental attitude he had associated with himself and his contributions. Because of the negative reinforcement by his direct supervisors and the illusions of the company president, he would see himself as someone lucky to work for the company.

Now let me tell you that I was mind washed into thinking the same thoughts about myself until I broke free from their grasp last year. I knew exactly what he was going through and I was determined to release my old friend from his prison, but I knew it would take work.

As I put myself in the hiring managers shoes and interviewed Owen, it became clear that here was an awesome manager and a very capable person who could do anything he wanted to- that is as long as it was talking me out of hiring him. He gave me every reason in the book to pass over him as a potential candidate. He sold himself short on every question by focusing on what he hadn't done, instead of marketing all he had achieved.

This is a very common thing for people in bad situations. They believe to think subconsciously that somehow they deserve the place they're at and they are directly responsible. This thought couldn't be farther from the truth. Bad things happen to good people and it is up to those people to realize that they can change their environment if and only if they really want to.

By embracing a positive mental attitude and a can do mentality, anything they desire can be achieved. It won't be easy and it will take time to formulate a plan of attacking those goals, but it can be done.

Ask yourself...are you like Owen?

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