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Business News/ Companies / News/  ‘Come with stories, talk about imperfections…’ ex-Google recruiter on how to approach job interviews
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‘Come with stories, talk about imperfections…’ ex-Google recruiter on how to approach job interviews

Recruiter Nolan Church also believes that one should be open about past mistakes during interviews, and share stories of failures and subsequent growth. This he says demonstrates strength and resilience.

Recruiter Nolan Church stressed the importance of arriving with compelling narratives rather than clichéd responses. (Pexel)Premium
Recruiter Nolan Church stressed the importance of arriving with compelling narratives rather than clichéd responses. (Pexel)

In the realm of job interviews, employers keep a keen eye out for certain warning signs — from tardiness to lack of preparation, these cues can influence hiring decisions significantly, according to Nolan Church, CEO of FairComp and a former Google recruiter told CNBC.

Here are his tips for the competitve job market.

Red Flags to Avoid

As per Church, phrases such as "I work too hard" or "I'm a perfectionist" can inadvertently convey a negative impression — as these are self-praises disguised as weaknesses. He stressed the importance of arriving with compelling narratives rather than clichéd responses during job interviews.

Embracing Imperfections

Church advocates for openness about past mistakes during interviews. He believes sharing stories of failures and subsequent growth demonstrates strength and resilience.

“I always tell people to come with stories. People are so scared to talk about their imperfections or their blemishes during interviews, and I actually think that that’s a strength," he said, and recommended sharing episodes such as “a time when you f----- up," including “what happened and what you learned."

"People are human and therefore not infallible. I care about hiring someone who’s going to take in the lessons when they do mess up and figure out how to be better going forward. I want people that reflect. I want people that improve over time, that have a growth mindset," he added.

Demonstrating Flexibility

Another aspect Church values is the ability to adapt and collaborate effectively. He suggests recounting instances where one was willing to pivot from initial plans based on team input. This, he contends, showcases a crucial trait: mental agility, which is highly prized by employers seeking adaptable team members.

“Come with a story about a time when you were really hell bent on doing it one way and you changed your mind and did it another way. Maybe you wanted to try out a new workflow but your team thought another would be more effective, for example, so you agreed to try it. This shows you were a team player. You have to be willing to set your ego and ideas aside and work with your team to do that. When you can show that level of mental agility, employers love that," he shared.

The Power of Experimentation

Lastly, Church encourages candidates to share experiences with experimentation. By detailing how one conducted tests to validate hypotheses, applicants can illustrate their proactive approach to problem-solving.

"Often businesses don’t necessarily test out their ideas before they unleash their products on the world. We tend to just want to, like, lock ourselves in the cave and come out with the big bang ... but it’s hard to know if that big bang will actually find success. It’s those very experiments which can help steer companies in the right direction. Experiments give you higher probability and de risk bad outcomes," he feels.

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Published: 25 Mar 2024, 11:39 AM IST
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