Job Hunters: Stop talking yourself out of that job

Job Hunters: Stop talking yourself out of that job

I want to be rich.

Not rich like a Premiership footballer – I don’t want to be so rich I have so much time on my hands that I manage to persuade myself that a stupid haircut looks good, or that pulling my socks over my knees is a good idea (John Terry is a dick sometimes – the socks thing was his idea).


Just rich enough to get the garden and the fence fixed, get my shoes repaired and have a pint tonight without having to save. That’ll do.

It might be easier without 4 kids, 2 cars, a housing project and 2 divorces, but that’s the blog I’m saving. Be warned. It will be very long. It will be funny in places, and you’ll find yourself learning how not to do stuff too. But hey, it’s been fun. Still is.

Sorry. I digress…..

To enable me to be richer I need to bill more, and to do that there’s one large hurdle: I get great candidates to interview, and very often they just talk themselves out of the job. And if that happens, I have to work harder and you, dear candidate, have to start all over again.

So it’s better for all of us, including the employer, if you just shut up a bit. Not totally. Just a bit.

Listen to the question you’re asked and answer it:

Yes. I know that sounds self-evident but was too many people try to be clever, anticipate the next question, and answer that too. The interviewer’s brain turns to mush.

Have 2 minutes ready about you:

I have yet to attend an interview where somebody doesn’t ask “Tell me about yourself”. You should be able to do that in 2 minutes with a flourish. The question is entirely predictable, so you should be ready. One candidate had to be stopped after 30 minutes earlier this week. I would have put money on it they would have got the job. But they didn’t. They just talked too much. And they were very senior and experienced.

They looked unprepared.

I didn’t look too bright either.

Be ready for all the obvious questions:


“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”….

“Tell us what you know about us?”….

“If you got the job, what would you do in the first week/month/quarter?”….

Some questions are crap, but that’s immaterial because they’ll be asked and it would be rude to ignore them. So just be ready. Rehearse a bit.

No. Rehearse a lot. You know it makes sense.

You may be asked some daft questions:

If somebody asks you to “sell me this pen”, you may be tempted to shove it where the sun don’t shine. I would. Just use your judgement.

There are other daft questions. They may betray you’re being interviewed by a company you won’t enjoy. Again. Use your judgement.

But most of all. Don’t fill voids with noise.

Don’t just witter on. You won’t get the job. I can’t send an invoice. And the employer may miss out too because you thought you’d let your mouth run away with you. Probably because you were winging it. And that’s the best way to a train wreck.

If there’s an uncomfortable silence:

Don’t just talk. Ask if you can ask some of your own questions. It shows you’re in control and been thinking about this in advance. That always goes down well.

I appreciate this is a very selfish perspective, but we can all do well out of this if we learn to communicate who and what we are. Less is very often more.

Theresa May has just announced she “shed a tear” on election night. See what happens when you assume too much and disengage mouth and mind? It gets you in trouble.

I’ll send her a copy of this when I’ve finished.

She needs the help.

Martin is the Headhunter with the RSE Group. He can get out of his pram with some of this stuff. However, we’re sorry to say he’s sometimes right. Don’t tell him we said that.

If you really want to speak with him, his number is 07823 887982, and his email



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Here at the RSE Group, we are curious to understand what will give organisations the best ROI on their investment in their people.

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