July 10, 2024

The fatigue of corporate bravado in job interviews


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

It’s Groundhog Day from their perspective

You might be the best company around. Great people. Innovative tech. Good benefits. But the problem is: everyone’s heard that a million times before.

To be clear, this isn’t a knock on founders or execs. Hiring bravado in most cases is inadvertent. Leaders are in the day to day, building things, proud of what they’re doing.

But they don’t have an outside perspective. It seems obvious (to them) that their org is a great place to be. They wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t.

 What they miss is that great orgs are a dime a dozen. There’s a *lot* of great places to work. And every candidate they talked to has heard it all before.

It’s compounded by the fact that there’s a lot of not-so-great places to work who say the exact same things to candidates. And everyone’s gotten suckered by a place like this at some point in their career.

The repetition of it burns out job seekers, making them immune to the standard corporate “can’t you see how great we are?” pitch. It feels disingenuous, even when it shouldn’t.

I have a 4 steps process to fixing this and getting candidates excited to work with you:

1. Be aware this is a real issue.

That’s like 90% of it. From there…

2. Leaders should explain their vision and direction in granular detail.

Not just what your product or service does and how long you’ve been around. Get specific around what differentiates you, what problems you’re addressing for your clients, where the industry is headed and how you’re leading that charge, what gets you excited personally, etc.

Impress job seekers the same way you’d try to impress a client.


3. Explain what it means to the job seeker personally. Why should they care?

Of course leaders or any other equity holders are excited. They have something to gain! But there’s a lot of career and life benefits (or there should be) for the people you’re trying to hire. Those are the things you and your team need to hit on.

👉How is this job better than the one they currently have? (And if you can’t think of an answer, that’s another problem in itself.) 

Then finally…

4. Let your team do the selling.

What you as a leader have to say can only go so far. Of course you’re going to say all the right things (or try to.) But candidates expect that.

Who they really trust are their future peers. Do they really enjoy working there? Why?

Let them explain that (and encourage them to do so) throughout the interview process. Social media and testimonials to attract people at the top of the funnel. Then injecting it into the interviewer agenda in the middle/end of the process.

Key part of that: let them use their own words. If you give them a corporate approved script, job seekers will sniff it out.

Bonus item! No one cares about ‘best places to work’ lists. Stop it with that nonsense.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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