JOB INTERVIEW BALANCES

Idea

Confidence with Teach-ability. Research from a variety of employment sources reveal that the majority of young employees believe their boss can learn a lot from them. While this may be true that more experienced interviewers do have a lot to learn from young employees, an interviewee who appears arrogant may repel a baby boomer. We suggest communicating your strong value, but without leaving the employer with the feeling you believe you know everything.

Warmth with Formality. It's easy to get very comfortable, especially while interviewing informally where most of the interviewers are casually dressed and invite you to open up and share your true personality. Often, recent college grads become far too informal, joking about personal elements in their lives or about the interviewer themselves. This is risky. Many human resources professionals suggest young candidates don't take interviews seriously enough, and that this is the No. 1 problem with hiring young employees. Some candidates even text or take a phone call during the interview. Elmore suggests candidates make an effort to be warm and friendly, but maintain a professional distance that is appropriate for a first meeting.

Creativity with Cooperation. Today, 83 percent of new graduates are looking for a place where their creativity is valued. Two out of three want to invent their own position at work. Keep in mind, this is a terrific aspiration, but your new employer may expect you to first function within the company's existing structure. Let the interviewer know you have creative ideas, but leave the impression that you're prepared to get on board with the organization's plans.

Ambition with Humility. Employers love ambition. Just be sure yours doesn't make you look cocky. Many call this balance humbitious meaning humble yet ambitious. It's a rare skill set. Even if you know you have a lot to offer, make sure you don't leave the employer with the impression that you think you are ready to do his or her job. Be humble. Get hired, then show them how good you are. Clearly, this is a balancing act, as you want to make it clear what you offer, but not at the risk of making the employer think you are too big for your britches.

Research and listening with Initiative. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is they fail to research the organization before their interview. Employers are impressed when candidates can cite data, note the issues the organization faces and make a clear connection between what the company needs and how they can help. Job seekers should find out who the key leaders are, and greet them by name when you see them. In the job interview, answer questions clearly and candidly, but ask informed questions as well, as this is likely to impress the interviewer. A job seeker pose questions that show he or she understands the organization's mission. A job seeker should also ask about the future and demonstrate his or her initiative while also proving he or she is a good researcher and listener.

Passion with Work ethic. Employers appreciate someone who has passion for the job. Can you show some passion for the smaller, mundane task you'll do as you stand on the bottom rung of the career ladder? If so, it may impress your interviewer, who will value your skills when you can demonstrate them in the context of how you can help a company accomplish its goals.