Shortly after reading an article about ‘telling your story’ in an interview, I had the opportunity to meet with a candidate for a high level position. During our conversation I asked why he left his previous position. He smiled and politely replied, ‘It just wasn’t a good fit’. That is such a pat answer, and albeit a safe one, it tells me nothing. What wasn’t a good fit? The responsibilities? The direction of the company? What?! Too many unanswered questions, so I asked a little differently.
‘What wasn’t a good fit?’ His response? It just wasn’t a good fit. Now, to put things in perspective, I’m not being nosy or judgmental on whatever happened (unless it was theft, intimidation, violence, or any other illegal act), but communicating with me the ‘why’ can help possibly prevent you ending up in the same/similar position. So, I ask again.
‘Why do YOU think it wasn’t a good fit?’ The response: ‘I liked it there, but it just wasn’t a good fit.’ So, now I am wondering WHAT HAPPENED that you are SO reluctant to discuss with me. My mind is reeling with different scenarios, which is never a good thing. If someone at this level cannot articulate their own thoughts, I have to question their ability to perform at said level. I’m not asking to breech any confidences, betray any trusts or talk bad about your former employer, but instead I’m asking YOU why YOU thought it wasn’t a good fit.
Telling your story can be a powerful tool. Communication your story gives great insight to the things that are important to you and indicators regarding your strengths and desires in your role. Not being able to articulate your story prevents recruiters/hiring managers from knowing what truly motivates you to succeed. In order to be in a role where you are set up to succeed is a much better place than the alternative.
I love a good story. It really helps me figure out the right environment for you. Share with me who you are and what you are all about. Let me see the real you. But please, don’t go overboard on the gesticulation. Too much animation may scare me.
There is a PS to this story, and it will be in the next blog….