This week being Discovery Channel’s highly advertised “Shark Week,” I thought it would be appropriate to draw a comparison between sharks’ behavior and over-eager candidates interviewing for jobs. They say that some sharks can smell a single drop of blood from miles away in the ocean. Some job seekers are the same way; they can smell a potential job opportunity from 1000′s of miles away with a few simple clicks on their computer. Technology has definitely made the job searching world easier and has given opportunities to people that would have never known about a job posting before. When most sharks smell blood, they immediately have the urge to be hungry and aggressive. This is where the conflict arises with a potential candidate.
If the candidate goes through the initial phone screen, or even “smells blood” that the hiring manager is interested in the particular candidate, his/her entire persona can change. They can go from being a humble, active job seeker to an over-confident, zealous job seeker which can hurt them in many circumstances.
When you become over-confident you may have blind faith in your ability and may ‘jump in’ without fully appreciating the potential negative outcomes of your decisions. During an interview, this is one of the worst things that you can do. You want to be able to speak to your abilities (with examples) and not just “jump in” and be too eager to say what you think they want to hear.
There is also a flip-slide to being over-confident; that is being under-confident. In the ocean, the shark is the most confident and powerful animal. He/she feeds on weaker, less-confident animals and controls the ocean. When drawing that back to a job interview, being under-confident you may under-rate your true abilities and lack faith in decision-making capabilities.
My advice to all of the “sharks” out there is to stay active, but most importantly, stay humble.