“I” is a tiny, one-letter word, but it can spell big trouble in job interviews.
“People who only use the pronoun ‘I’ in interviews are a washout for us,” Liza Landsman, president of ecommerce site Jet.com, tells Business Insider. “There are very few tech-centered organizations that don’t require a high degree of collaboration.”
It’s natural to be prepared to talk about yourself in a job interview, but you’ve got to try to keep the conversation centered on what you can contribute to the team or organization you’re looking to join.
It also doesn’t hurt to demonstrate that you care about the people you work with, too.
“I think it’s really important that everyone comes in here and they have a solid understanding that they own a piece of this building and the culture,” Jet.com vice president Kristin Reilly tells Business Insider.
Apart from keeping an eye out for too many “I”s, Reilly says that hiring managers at the ecommerce site – which Walmart bought for $3 billion in 2016 – have a few more strategies for vetting whether or not someone’s a team player in interviews.
Conversational red flags include:
- Shirking accountability in past roles. Bashing previous companies or bosses. Failing to take an active role in organizational cultures.
The two execs say that by steering clear of ego-driven hires, they are ensuring that the team is as strong as possible. Landsman says that, at the end of the day, she hopes to hire people who value improving and growing Jet.com as part of a team over achieving solo glory.
“We want people who come here with kind of a missionary zeal about the journey that we are on,” Landsman says.