Why your Charisma can Sabotage your Interveiw

As a Resume Writer and Career Strategy Consultant, I find that I am often screening for clients who possess some – “game.” Since a short, successful job search favors a candidate who can master and apply the rules of successful interviewing.

For example, a person’s resume may highlight that they generated a 60% increase in sales in a particular year. But, when asked about the overall sales goal plan or the previous year’s numbers, many candidates fail to give a clear, succinct process-focused answer.

Be wary if asked to discuss achievements and you experience a “high self-esteem, egotistical overconfident” moment- you could sabotage the winnable moment.

Charisma is often just self-absorption in disguise. And while its utility is unmatched as a brilliant one-act play in the short term, it is generally catastrophic when used to build relationships and buy-in longer term. 

If charisma, overly high self-esteem, or egotistical overconfidence can shipwreck your interview as a candidate, the same goes for the interviewer trying to size you up at the interview if they are burdened with the same attribute.

Be mindful as you extol your brilliance in an interview. Is the interviewer trying to determine the value you will bring to the project, or are they seeking to ascertain whether you are a solid pair of shoulders upon which they can climb to achieve success?

Sometimes it is charisma’s dazzling brilliance at the interview where the chat with the interviewer goes so well that the interviewer takes few notes of value. Consequently, the interviewer cannot deliver when it comes to selling you as the candidate of choice. All because your charisma and perceived personal magnetism got in the way.

So, be wary, success in an interview requires some self-effacement, and one needs to accept that interviewing is a shared performance. Candidates excel at interviews when they seek to gather information, exchange ideas, are flexible enough to remain quiet during parts of the discussions, and appear to take good notes.

So, while interviewing is theatre, remember that a masterful performance is not the endgame.