Criticism from an interview...

NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
So I recently applied to a Security Engineer position.  Got a phone interview which went good.  Went in for an in person interview which I thought went well.   But didn't get the position... One thing the manager said was he enjoyed meeting me but he felt I was "too relaxed" which gave him the impression that I might not be passionate enough.... This sucks cause I definitely wanted the position and thought it would've been a good move for me!!   

I usually try and not be too stressed during an interview and have a casual and open conversation with the person interviewing me.   Which I feel I usually have a good conversation with the person interviewing... I really did think I had a good conversation with this manager and thought we got along pretty well... 

I don't go on many interviews and would say more often than not I get an offer...  But this also isn't the first time I've received this criticism about me being "too relaxed" and not got a position after hearing this.  I guess I'm just wondering if I need to act more awkward and stressed?   Cause that would mean I want the job more?   What would you guys think after hearing that? 

Comments

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,895 Mod
    This got me thinking about someone I passed on for an intern role. The guy was very "passive" and answered short, didn't provide additional context, and left me with his feeling that he didn't really want the job. I don't expect people to jump up and down but I certainly use the level of engagement to try to gauge how interested they are. I moved on because this person did a terrible job communicating the desire to be a part of the team.

    My employer is a big company so fast forward a year, he was hired in my sister team. Long story short, the guy is a rockstar and is on track to get promoted in 2020. I decided to compare notes with the hiring manager and it seems like we talked to two different persons. Maybe he had a weird day when I interviewed him? Who knows! 

    So my comment is, be yourself. Don't try to artificially be something you are not. Make sure you are showing interest by asking lots of good/thoughtful questions and verbalizing how you can contribute to solve whatever problems they are trying to solve. If you did all of that, it may be the interviewer's perception then. Although since you say it's not the first time you are told this, there may be something there to work on. Perhaps mock interviews will help.
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 A+, Network+, Security+, Project+ USA, CARegistered Users Posts: 158 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited November 2019
    I'm just wondering what was meant by being "to relaxed"? When i first read the comment, I visualized someone who presented themselves in a very casual position. Crossing their legs, possibly slouching in their seat, dressing down/casual etc. If you did good on the phone interview, i didn't interpret "relax" with verbal response.
    In any case, I agree with @cyberguypr - just be yourself and do your best.
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: Cysa+
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited November 2019
    I had a similar experience over the past few weeks. 

    I had a phone interview and I think I did pretty well. I think that I would have been an excellent person for the role.

    I didn't get the role. 

    Looking back at it, I don't think I showed any enthusiasm. I wasn't overly excited like a dog when your walking down the hallway with his food. 

    I have an interview today. With everything considered, when you 1. Have a job. 2. Not desperate. 3. Applied to 45 other jobs, when I/we have interviews we aren't acting like we really really want it. I am very guilty of that. I think hiring managers want you to act like you really need the job and they want to hear it in your voice. I am pretty relaxed myself and I think that has caused me some positions that I kinda would have wanted. 

    It's almost like they want us to feel desperate. The problem is, if you have experience you are marketable. I am not going to be coming to work during cartwheels in the door every morning. That's what they seem to want to hear in your voice over the phone.
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Interviewing is like dating, we want someone who shows enthusiasm but doesn't cross the line to desperation. 
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,167 Mod
    Maybe you come across as too relax. Maybe not. That might be the interviewer's personal opinion/bias. What @cyberguypr said is true.

    Be polite, dress well (nice suit), be yourself and be professional. Don't over think it. There are million reasons why they rejected you so who knows.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Thanks for all the replies.  I think I may come off a little passive like cyberguypr mentioned...  I like to think I'm a pretty easy going guy.   I don't want to sound desperate and overly excited during the conversation but maybe take that a little too far.

    (I definitely make sure I wear a nice suit at interviews  ;)   )
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited November 2019
    They could view "too relaxed" as not giving a rats butt. I found this personal formula to work out: Confident + Formal (not suit dummy formal but manners formal and dress appropriately) + Humble = Success! This formula works for me at least. Your results may vary! :)
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Member Posts: 341 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited November 2019
    In my career, I've gotten to 4 in person interviews. I didn't get the job one time and that one time, my attitude was way too casual. I ticked the boxes they wanted but I had a job I liked at the time and while it would have been nice getting the position, I wasn't hurting too much. Like @MrsWilliams said, already having a job had a lot to say about my demeanor in the interview. The next job interview was after I was laid off and really sold myself and showed passion for IT and networking and I got the job. My next interview was for my current role. I had a job, I wasn't that comfortable financially but it was getting back into a role I loved more than anything else. I was asked several times by each one of my interviewers why I'm wanting to walk away from a job with networking and be working with databases again. I simply explained how much I loved database work and how passionate I was about learning more etc. I wasn't over the top but I wanted them to know that it was my position to lose.
  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think both EANx and cyberguypr give good explanations. Probably best to just be yourself but be passionate / enthusiastic about the interview. You might also need to look for tips on sites like glassdoors. A certain contact of mine coaches friends on how to get a job with their company so they know the language and hot topics to discuss.
  • scascscasc Member Posts: 289 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I honestly put it down to one of those things. Having attended countless interviews over the years I’ve had all sorts of feedback - being too serious, too keen to being all over the place. I always try to think afterwards what worked/didn’t but at time’s it feels like a lottery - depends on the person interviewing you that day, their mood, what’s frustrating them etc. 

    Just go in with a clear mind, show your passion for what you do and see what happens. 
    MSc, BSc (Hons), AWS CSA, C-CISO, CISSP, CCSP, CCSK, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GSTRT, GSNA, GCCC, CEH, ECSA, CHFI, TOGAF, CISMP
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    What type of position are you looking for?
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    iBrokeIT said:
    What type of position are you looking for?
    Ive been a Security Analyst for a little under 4 years now.   Get to work with a little with the SIEM and PAM applications at my work but don't get to really dive into a lot of setting up and configuring them to work better.  There is ALOT more my workplace should be doing with them too... Have expressed this to my manager many times.   Most of day is just looking at alerts, doing audits, and managing access to things on the network atm.   I've been able to create scripts to do a lot of things my team does since before I was here a lot things were manually done.   But my position/team isnt that technical and I don't get to dive in deep into things.   Alot of access request tickets and doing audits...   And not a huge thing, but also no one my team cares to learn anything technical or how to improve things.   Would kill to work with someone who knew more than me or wanted to learn more.  I've had to make little apps and interfaces for my scripts just so my team would use them (they don't even like going into a command line for anything).   Have made many apps to create reports for audits, managing access, and look up other information.  

    There isn't a position above me on my team right now and have been told for a couple years they are planning on creating one for me... But after a couple years I'm not banking on anything anymore.    Want a position where I can actually have to figure things out, learn more and implement the things I'm learning.   Feel like I've kinda topped out on what I can do in my current position.   Currently looking around at Security Engineer positions in my area.  
  • devilbonesdevilbones Member Posts: 318 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the replies.  I think I may come off a little passive like cyberguypr mentioned...  I like to think I'm a pretty easy going guy.   I don't want to sound desperate and overly excited during the conversation but maybe take that a little too far.

    (I definitely make sure I wear a nice suit at interviews  ;)   )
    Did you receive this in an email?  If you really want the job why dont you email the manager back and tell him what you told us?  This might work on me.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited November 2019
    Received it through the recruiter who received it from the manager... Was debating on sending something to manager directly via LinkedIn.  Thanking him for the opportunity to interview for the position and everything
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited November 2019
    iBrokeIT said:
    What type of position are you looking for?
    Ive been a Security Analyst for a little under 4 years now.   Get to work with a little with the SIEM and PAM applications at my work but don't get to really dive into a lot of setting up and configuring them to work better.  There is ALOT more my workplace should be doing with them too... Have expressed this to my manager many times.   Most of day is just looking at alerts, doing audits, and managing access to things on the network atm.   I've been able to create scripts to do a lot of things my team does since before I was here a lot things were manually done.   But my position/team isnt that technical and I don't get to dive in deep into things.   Alot of access request tickets and doing audits...   And not a huge thing, but also no one my team cares to learn anything technical or how to improve things.   Would kill to work with someone who knew more than me or wanted to learn more.  I've had to make little apps and interfaces for my scripts just so my team would use them (they don't even like going into a command line for anything).   Have made many apps to create reports for audits, managing access, and look up other information.  

    There isn't a position above me on my team right now and have been told for a couple years they are planning on creating one for me... But after a couple years I'm not banking on anything anymore.    Want a position where I can actually have to figure things out, learn more and implement the things I'm learning.   Feel like I've kinda topped out on what I can do in my current position.   Currently looking around at Security Engineer positions in my area.  

     I have two technical security positions opening up on my team in the next in the next two months near the 394/494 area.  DM me if you are interested in details. 
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
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