Interview Tips From Hiring Recruiters: 5 Ways to Not Be an Idiot in an Interview|
How Not To Be An Idiot While Interviewing
Conducting close to 20 job interviews a week can give you some real perspective in this crazy economy – both from the company’s standpoint and that of the job candidates.
At this point in my career I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates– and the idiocy that stands in the way of people finding jobs never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes it makes me wonder about humanity as a whole, but for the most part I assume that despite the myriad of information out there, people just don’t realize their interviewing flubs.
Below you’ll find some tips to ensure that you won’t look like an idiot while interviewing. The bad news is I’ve gotten these tips from experience – as in this kind of stuff actually happens while I’m interviewing. The good news is that if you follow my tips you’ll be way ahead of the game while job hunting.
1. Be Clear and Confident
One of my biggest pet peeves while interviewing job candidates is when they can’t tell me what they actually did at a previous job– they seem to think their job title explains it all.
Anyone can be called a manager. It’s just a title. So interviewers like to know what you were actually doing while you were clocked in. Were you doing payroll? Were you training others? What tasks did you do? Make a list for each job you’ve had.
My other pet peeve is when candidates can’t tell me what kind of a job they want or why they want it. For the record, “because it sounds cool” is not a valid answer. Know what makes you qualified for the job you’re applying for. Be very clear about what you want and why you want it.
Being clear about what you did, what you want and why you want it will show hiring managers that you’ve got it together. It may not seem like much but clarity and confidence can go a long way.
2. Dress Appropriately
I’ve already addressed this issue in a previous piece, however I can’t stress enough the importance of dressing appropriately for a job interview. First impressions are important and your attire can say a lot about you as a person. Keep it professional, ladies.
3. Remember, Hiring Managers Are Not Your Therapist
I have heard some crazy things while interviewing job candidates. More than one of my candidates have actually cried. Sometimes I joke around by saying that job candidates confuse me with their therapist. But it isn’t always that much of a joke.
Hiring managers should not have to hear about how your former boss slept with your partner or how you have a thing for serial killers. It’s not appropriate and it gives the impression that you can’t keep your personal life out of your business.
4. Be Realistic
I’m a big advocate for my generation and I will defend them vigorously against the negative light that is constantly being shed on them, however as of late members of my own generation make me want to put my head through a brick wall.
Many recent college grads these days don’t seem to know which way is up in the business world. They have these absurd expectations (like salary and local industry) that make it very difficult for companies to take them seriously. It’s not until they get knocked around a bit by the economy that they start to realize what generations prior have already learned – you have to adapt.
Make sure your expectations are realistic. It’ll save you a lot of heartache on the job hunt.
5. Do Not Bad-Mouth a Former Employer
Bad-mouthing a former employer is tacky. Period. Point blank. It makes you look like a prima donna, and worse, your loyalty to employers will be called into question.
The aforementioned tips may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised just how often candidates stick their foot in their mouths. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you’ll at least be considered for the job at hand.