Blog Topic: Job Interviews
Author: Susan Heim
Job Interviews – What Not to Do!
As a seasoned hiring manager going on 35 years in the business I have interviewed hundreds of candidates. I cannot count the number of times the OMG’s bounced around inside my head pleading to come out of my mouth. Of all the self help information available on how to ace job interviews, there is not enough information out there on what NOT to do.
My most memorable recollections of interviews that have gone terribly bad, here are five points all candidates should be aware of.
1. Don’t Arrive Looking Disheveled
First impressions are important, but you already know this. You know enough to ensure you are well groomed when you leave home. But after you don the coat and hat, gulp the coffee and fight commuters on the subway, have you thought about the hat head, smudged lipstick and snow scuffed shoes that might accompany you into the interview? Don’t plan to arrive on time; arrive early so you have time to go to the washroom to put the finishing touches on your coiffure. This will guarantee you look as immaculate as you did when you left home.
2. Don’t Come Across As Uninterested
There is no bigger turn off than a candidate who has done no research about our company, our management team or our competition. With websites, social media and Google as part of the public domain, there is no excuse for arriving unprepared to have a meaningful conversation that will allow us to get to know each other. How would you feel on a blind date if you were the only one asking questions? That’s how unflattered I feel when a candidate leaves without asking anything about us.
3. Don’t Assume the Interview Is About What’s On Your Resume
I will evaluate you for your skill set, but the very reason you are in front of me is because you have sort of passed that test already. I have read what you have glorified on your resume. Our meeting is really about what is not written down – your personality and attitude. I am going to size you up for how well you would fit into the culture of our organization. Don’t creep me out with a weak handshake, shifty body language and chewing gum. And don’t you dare gripe about your former employer – remember we have just met; I don’t know you that well.
4. Don’t Lie
Stretching the truth about “potholes” in your career or less than stellar past performances can, and will be exposed. Information is everywhere. If you have a mark against you then coming clean about it will be your best strategy. Practice how to discuss these in a factual and diplomatic manner before you arrive at our meeting. Your honesty will shine and speak volumes about your character. The trick lies in how effective you are in your delivery. Remember, everyone hates being lied to!
5. Don’t Forget To Follow Up
Let’s face it – it is an employers’ market and you are going to have to step up your game to get noticed. So would it be too much to ask for a nice and sincere follow up thank you note? Not only would this be a classy thing to do, it will tell me a thing or two about your manners. Were you not taught to thank your hosts the next day after a wonderful dinner party? The same principle applies here. (Read more: Why You Must Send Follow Up Emails After an Interview – LinkedIn.)
Once you have absorbed these DON’T’S here is a great list of what you should do to prepare for a successful interview.
At Equity Career Transitions and Outplacement Services, we provide one on one coaching on resume preparation and interview skills. Every Equity client is matched with a personal coach best suited to achieve optimum results.
Contact us today for an initial consultation.