During your job search process, it’s important that you verify what you are saying and also confirm your understanding of what is being said to you. This is especially important in the interview process. Below are some common phrases that may be misunderstood. 

Candidate to Interviewer:

What was said: I’m a very fast learner.
What was heard: I don’t have the experience you’re looking for.

What was said: I would change positions for the right opportunity.
What was heard: Make me an offer.

What was said: I’ve been an independent business consultant for the past two years.
What was heard: I’ve been out of work for two years.

What was said: I left my last position, because I wasn’t being challenged enough.
What was heard: My last company didn’t trust me with the higher level responsibilities.

What was said: I’ll get back to you with the names and contact information for my references.
What was heard: I have to call around first and tell people what I want them to say.

What was said: My leadership style is very honest and very direct.
What was heard: I’m abrasive and too direct with people.

What was said: I’m a perfectionist and very detail-oriented.
What was heard: I’m a micromanager.

Interviewer to Candidate:

What was said: This is a very hands-on position.
What they mean: You’ll have limited resources and be expected to do things that are beneath you.

What was said: You have an extensive work history and are highly overqualified.
What they mean: We’re looking for someone younger and less expensive.

What was said: Thank you for coming in today; we have a few more people to see, and then we’ll get back to you.
What they mean: You are not exactly what we want to hire, so we plan to continue interviewing.

Knowing how these phrases can be misunderstood, it gives you an opportunity to continue the discussion to clarify information and overcome possible objections or concerns.


Rick Christensen

Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.

Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com