The Art of Job Interview Mind Reading

The Art of Job Interview Mind Reading

August 18, 2016 Interviewing

imagine2swotllarenaIf you recall my last note, I said this:

Interviewers have more on their minds than getting to know you.

The best way I know how to convince you that this insight should inform how you prepare for your next interview is by providing an example.

Imagine that you are the change management lead for IT transformation in a consumer product group company. You are interviewing your prospective replacement.


This is what may be in the back of your mind during an interview:

•    You may be thinking about the training required to increase organizational readiness for upcoming IT changes.
•    You could be in the middle of trying to get buy-in for a business continuity plan.
•    You might be vetting vendors later that day.

This is what may be at the top of an interviewee’s mind:

•    He may be focused on outlining his CPG career history.
•    He may be eager to clearly and convincingly explain his resume gap.
•    He could be ready to ask questions about the company culture.

Here’s the disconnect that I see and that I want to emphasize:

Interviewers are taking time to meet with you when they really wish they could be doing their work – chances are it’s backed up since they have a talent gap in their team.

Meanwhile, interviewees are going into interview rooms hesitant and ill-prepared to be able to help interviewers make progress in their work for a myriad of fixable reasons. We can go into those fixable reasons at another time.

Now, imagine if you were the only job candidate who not only knew what could be going on in that job interviewers’ mind but could also sell yourself as the best person to solve these real challenges? 

Imagine if you came in as their ready, willing, and able problem solver…wouldn’t that be more interesting to you as the imaginary job interviewer in this example? I want to encourage you to keep imagining in August.

Stay tuned for another example next week because it will make you more a empathetic and effective interviewee.

About the author

Melissa Llarena: is the CEO and career coach behind Career Outcomes Matter. Her craft is coaching top executives on how to dissect and deliver the perfect job interview. Her client base includes US-based as well as international business leaders with 15-plus years of experience who are undeniably really good at what they do yet simply want a strategic partner who can quickly fully understand their tangible and intangible contributions to effectively scale up their interviewing skills for the toughest interviews. Click to gain instant access to her 20-page interview preparation kit to gain an edge then schedule a phone call to see how she’d leverage her most powerful insights based on your unique situation -- all in time for your next interview.