The 1 Critical Mistake That All Job Seekers Make

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Confidence, hire, interview, Speaking | 32 Comments
The 1 Critical Mistake That All Job Seekers Make

The 1 Critical Mistake That All Job Seekers Make

If I could hire you for any job today, what job would it be and why should I hire you?

Before I hire you, I will need to interview you. How well can you answer my questions? Can you convince me that I need you?

Why will you NOT get the job? What is the one critical mistake that you will make?

It is the same one that most job seekers make.

How Do I Know?

As you think about these questions, let me explain how I know.

My name is Fred Haley. I have had a great career of over thirty years in the transportation industry. I have held twenty different roles, with eight employers in ten states. I have had new positions created for me. YES – for each one I had to be interviewed; often more than once.

After my first career position, I supervised and managed other staff. I was “the big boss” for three different agencies. I have hired hundreds of employees. Yes, I had to let a few go.

I also am public speaking coach, through my business, ToastMentor. I teach people how to get results when they talk. SPEAK. CONNECT. INSPIRE. LEAD.

What does that mean to you? It means that I can show you how to go From Interview to Paycheck. I can guide you through the untold process. You will stand apart from your competition. I can teach you how to make a memorable impression so that you will not be forgotten after the interview.

Re-read what I just wrote. It gives you a strong hint as to that critical mistake.

Why Should I Hire You?

Whether you are applying for your first part-time job ever, or for the chief executive officer position, you must be able to explain to me, or to whoever interviews you, why you should be hired.

You are not going to get the job that you want simply by submitting an application. You will not be hired because of your wit and charisma. You may have a wonderful personality, but that is not what the interviewer is seeking.

To be chosen, you must be prepared. It takes time and effort. The interviewer will recognize that you have done your homework.

For me to choose you, you must know what I am expecting you to say when I ask, “why should I hire you?”.

The Critical Mistake: WIIFM

First, let’s understand that whoever is interviewing you will eventually be your boss.

What does The Boss want? What is The Boss expecting you to say?

Almost everyone gets this answer wrong. That is the critical mistake.

There is one important fact that you must know about the hiring process:

It is NOT about You!

Think about that statement.

When you make a decision, what is your one question?

WIIFM – What’s in it for ME?

What do you think the person at the interview is thinking?

YES: WIIFM – What’s in it for ME!

During the interview, the only question The Boss wants answered is, “What can this person do for me and my business?”

You will be hired when you show that you can give the boss what s/he wants.

Remember my short introduction, above? I explained my credentials? That got you to think, “This person can help me.”

The Boss does not want to hire you. The Boss wants someone who can help him/her.

What Does The Boss Want?

There are many answers. But every boss wants three things:

  • A boss wants NO PROBLEMS!
  • A boss wants to make the customers happy.
  • A boss wants the customers to buy more and buy more often.

Simply put – the boss wants RESULTS!

The critical mistake that job seekers make is that they fail to understand this one fact. They fail to understand that The Boss is looking for someone to use specific skills to make the business more profitable and successful.

When you are hired, your responsibility will be to help the boss achieve RESULTS. You will have a role in the company’s future or continued success.

How To Avoid The One Critical Mistake

Your task during the interview is to convince the boss that you can do just that.

To convince the boss, you need to show that you have skills and experience that you can create those results.

Here is a secret that no one wants to admit:

There is no “perfect candidate” – for any job!

Every potential employee has strengths. Every potential employee has weaknesses.

The boss will hire the person who is the “best fit.”

The boss will hire the person who will “get the results” that the boss wants.

How do you find out what the boss wants? How can you know what results will make the boss happy?   There are several ways.

  • Think – what would you want if you were the boss?
  • Read the job description. It should give you enough information.
  • Talk to other people at the business, or in similar jobs.
  • GOOGLE similar positions. Do your research.

Now you have a good picture of what RESULTS the boss wants from the person who will be hired. This will be valuable to you in preparing for the interview. It will be critically important to getting you hired.

When I am The Boss, I don’t care who you know, where you went to school, how funny or how attractive you are. For me to hire you for the job that you want, you must convince me that you can provide the results that I need.

Fred Haley is a certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker for the John Maxwell Program, and owner of ToastMentor, a communications training firm. He conducts public workshops, and mentors business professionals to improve their presentations. Fred has published several books on public speaking. Follow Fred on Twitter @ToastMentor.  Learn more on his web site, His latest book, “FROM INTERVIEW TO PAYCHECK,” is available on



  1. Avatar for Fred Haley
    September 24, 2016

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thank you for putting up. No man is wise enough by himself. by Titus Maccius Plautus.

  2. Avatar for Fred Haley
    October 19, 2016

    You are my inhalation, I have few blogs and sometimes run out from to brand.

  3. Avatar for Fred Haley
    November 18, 2016

    Very good blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  4. Avatar for Fred Haley
    December 7, 2016

    Nice post. I study one thing more difficult on completely different blogs everyday.

  5. Avatar for Fred Haley
    December 20, 2016

    Thank you, I have just been searching for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

  6. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 1, 2018

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.

    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    • Avatar for Fred Haley
      Fred Haley
      August 1, 2018

      The simple answer is to know what “the boss” iis really wanting, and show her/him that you can do it. Put yourself in the position of the boss. I can help you more. Please email me at

  7. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 10, 2018

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  8. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  9. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  10. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  11. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  12. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  13. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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    • Avatar for Fred Haley
      Fred Haley
      August 16, 2018

      I appreciate your comments, Rosalina. NO – I had a web developer create the site using WordPress. ADD VALUE. BE VALUED.

  14. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  15. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 16, 2018

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  16. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

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    The 1 Critical Mistake That All Job Seekers
    Make is kinda boring. You might peek at Yahoo’s home page and watch how
    they write post titles to grab viewers interested. You might try adding a video or a related picture or two to get people excited about everything’ve written. Just my opinion, it might make your website a little livelier.

    • Avatar for Fred Haley
      Fred Haley
      August 18, 2018

      Thank you for your suggestions, Virgie. I also agree that I need to do more videos. They will be coming soon.

  17. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

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  18. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

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  19. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

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    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  20. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding
    more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this information for
    my mission.

  21. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

    Superb, what a website it is! This blog gives valuable information to us, keep it

  22. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

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    • Avatar for Fred Haley
      Fred Haley
      August 18, 2018

      Thank you, Jose. My philosophy is the same for my blogs – Think about the audience first, and give them information that will help them. I appreciate knowing that my blog helps you.

  23. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 17, 2018

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  24. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 19, 2018

    always i used to read smaller content which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I am reading at this time.

  25. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 24, 2018

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  26. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 24, 2018

    I love it whenever people come together and share ideas. Great
    website, continue the good work!

  27. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 24, 2018

    Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?

    I have a blog based on the same information you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would value your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  28. Avatar for Fred Haley
    August 24, 2018

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your
    post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content available
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    Again, awesome web site!