I was speaking with a resume client the other day who had an interview with a law firm. It was for an administrative role, not for a position as an attorney. He called me to say that the interview went well and to also go over some of the questions and his responses.
I thought he did very well. He seemed to demonstrate a nice balance of seriousness and professionalism, mixed with a sense of lightness and a personable nature. At the end of his interview, he told me they asked him if had any questions. He said “Yes. When can I start?” He laughed as he said it to keep things light, but I thought it was a great come back and showed his deep interest in the position. I would give him an “A+” for that one.
Then, he told me about an earlier question where they asked him what his ideal job was. He told me he initially said “A job where I can put my feet up and collect a paycheck.”
Did I hear right? Did he really say that?
Even if he said it jokingly, I was concerned. (He did say it jokingly and followed up with a serious response.) Still, I don’t think that was a good move. People who don’t know you will most likely wonder how much of a joke that really was and how much truth was behind the comment. Because he seemed to do well throughout the rest of the interview and exhibited a professional nature, I am hoping this doesn’t hurt him.
They won’t be making an actual decision on their new hire for another week, so I can’t give you the ending of the story. But I will keep you informed.
So my advice for today? Sure, you want to show different sides of yourself in an interview. After all, likeability can be as important as your skills and talents, so you don’t want to be one dimensional. However, don’t take a chance and joke about things that could cause the interviewers to question if you would be a good match.
Have you or have you known anybody who has said something they shouldn’t at an interview? All we can do is learn from our mistakes.
Watch for the second article in this 3-part series on Interviewing – What Not to Say. There are is always more to learn!
Check out this article on Interviewing – What not to say: http://tinyurl.com/my5h825