When answering questions on job interviews you would be surprised how many executives say they are “good on their feet,” that they think quickly. Most do not. If it only were so.

I was working with an outplacement client. She had the networking piece down pat but she struggled with telling her story. She actually had a great story to tell but she fumbled and self-edited her way to being eliminated from multiple searches. She was perplexed. With rejection came frustration; she thought she was quick on her feet but she wasn’t, she came to the table grossly unprepared.

During my recruiting career I have found that often there is one thing executives are NOT very good at doing is interviewing.

Those of use who are out in the market trying to find capable leaders to lead community hospitals are hopeful that our candidate pools will step up and hit the ball out of the park. Recruiters, both internal and those at search firms, are looking for a reason to hire someone. We just wish candidates would come to the table ready to sell themselves in a credible way, with a defined value statement and quantifiable evidence of their successes. But most do not.

So, if you are an executive in the marketplace looking for a new leadership position and you are complaining about recruiters or the process, my sincere advice is to please stop. I admit that many recruiters are terrible communicators. They are unbelievably negligent in returning telephone calls. You are right there, but candidates who let this become an excuse for their struggles in a search for their next job are dodging an important question: why are you allowing this to be the excuse that cripples your job search?

Find an outplacement coach you trust. Ask your former employer who is ushering you to the door, to pay the tab to help you improve and to find your next better position. Then hire a coach who can teach you how to do a better job interviewing. A lot of people understand networking but the key to success is learning how to tell your story more effectively.