“I wouldn’t mind working there” and other phrases to never use in the job search.
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job Search
I was interviewed by Channel 2 in Denver this morning. One of the questions the reporter asked me was this: If, when targeting a company or position, is it okay to say “I’d like to do this type of job, but if that’s not available, I’d be willing to do this.”? My answer…emphatically no!
Phrases like this drive me insane:
I’d be willing to work there. I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It would be okay. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it would be fine. I guess I could do that job.
It may come as a surprise to you, but no company wants to hear “I’d be willing to work for you.”
I would never hire someone that “wouldn’t mind” working for me. By all means, don’t let me inconvenience you by hiring you! I also don’t want anyone who will work anywhere. If you’re so desperate, it means you yourself haven’t qualified the companies. And your mediocre interest just might translate into mediocre performance. Thanks, but no thanks.
But wait, you say. You would never tell a company such things. You would never actually say to a company “I wouldn’t mind working for you.” Of course you wouldn’t say those words to them (yet, you would to us!), but if you’re thinking it, it’s coming out in some other form…be it your body language, your level of enthusiasm and interest, your communications. It’s there. You’re not that good of an actor!
Quit being a mediocre planner of your job search. Figure out where exactly you want to work. Bring some passion to the search. Target those companies with careful thought. Be one of those people who uses phrases like:
I absolutely want to work here! This is the place for me! I’ve done all of the research and this is where I add the most value. I’m your next shining star!
My friend Tom told me about a recent interview. He was meeting with a Senior Vice President for a first-line managerial position. While this position was a few levels below his target position, he was very excited about the company. When the hiring manager asked him why he was even interested in this low-level position, Tom told him he had researched where the puck was headed in technology, mapped it to his strengths, and said “I’m targeting three segments…and your company is at the intersection of these segments. It’s where I want to work. I want to get on the bus…and we can figure out down the road where I sit.”
The hiring manager liked what he heard and is now considering Tom for a role that wasn’t even posted – and probably never would have been. This new role is higher level and more appropriately matched with Tom’s skills. This is what happens when you’re meeting with the right people – those who have the power to make decisions that are good for the company.
But do you see how Tom took the focus away from the concept of “I’d be willing to take this position to get into the company” and turned it into “This is where I want to be. We can figure out the details later.”
Here’s what Tom did that’s different from what most others do. Tom knew where he needed to be. He did the research. He figured out where the opportunity would be. He looked at his own strengths – and came up with the best fit. This is before he’s ever gotten in the door.
When it comes to job search, how many people really do their homework? How many people have a well-thought out plan before asking others for help? I can tell you right now, the answer is not enough of you! Because if you did, you would have more success in your networking meetings. You would have more success in your interviews. And you would have more success in your job search.
So, take the time to really figure out what you want to do. Find out who you want to be. Put together a thoughtful target list of who you want to work for (not just the companies that have an opening). And create some positive energy around it by saying “This is who I am. This is my dream job. These are the companies I absolutely want to work for.” You’ll be amazed how much this newfound positive energy will get you on the right track to find the right fit. And you may even find more than one company that “wouldn’t mind” having you on board!