Interviewing Advice – Some things not to do…

Throughout the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to conduct quite a few interviews. Being on the other side of the table gives you quite a different perspective when it comes to interviewing.

My favorite interviewing experience happened while I was working for an online essay checker company. The interview was going good, and then one of the interviewers asked the applicant a “hard” question. He looked at us, thought for a second, and then stated, “I have an answer to that one. Just a second.” He proceeded to open up the notebook he brought, flip through the pages, and then, when he finally found what he was looking for, he read us the answer he had prepared.

Throughout the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to conduct quite a few interviews. Being on the other side of the table gives you quite a different perspective when it comes to interviewing.

Anyone see a problem with this? Think of an interview as a test – a closed book test. Everyone knows that you have prepared for the test. You’ve gone over questions you are likely to be asked and prepared answers for them. Just make sure that when you answer the questions in the interview that you don’t read them off a cheat sheet. That won’t impress anyone.

At another company, I was interviewing a recent high school graduate for a data entry position. The position required plenty of computer experience, so one of the questions we asked dealt with the types of software applications that the applicant is familiar with. The applicant’s initial response to the question was, “Windows.” Ok, good start. The problem came when I asked him to be a little more specific about the types of software he has used in Windows. He thought about it for a second and then replied that he was familiar with Paint. Microsoft Paint!?! The painting program that little kids use?

Ok, that wasn’t my reaction (out loud anyway). I refrained from laughing because I’ve found that applicants don’t like to be laughed at during interviews.

Make sure that your answers are relevant to the position for which you are applying. I’m familiar with Solitaire, but I’m not going to bring it up in a job interview – unless I’m applying to deal cards at a casino and even then I’d think twice about it. When you are interviewing, you are trying to show the interviewer that you are a good fit for the position and you understand what you are getting yourself into. Explaining your proficiency with Paint when interviewing for a position that has nothing to do with it doesn’t earn you any points.

So, what have we learned? When interviewing, remember two things. First, make sure that you prepare for the interview, but NO CHEAT SHEETS! Second, make sure that the answers you give during the interview are relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you don’t know how a question relates, ask!

Phone Interview Tips

Why are phone interview tips importance? Why should candidates be prepared for phone interview questions ? Because this is the first round of interview which most candidates get weeded out quickly. The interviewer would sound friendly but be on guard and bear in mind that the person is screening you and how you performed during the conversation would determine your chances of being invited for the next round of interview.

Phone interview might be done by the interviewer or someone assisting him/her. It serves a few purposes:

1) verify missing or unclear information in CV such as working experience & qualification

2) assess candidates  interaction ability

3) assess candidates  passion and zeal towards joining the organization and the job

More often than not, phone interview take place when a larger than expected pool of candidates applied for one vacancy. It is the faster and most straightforward method to reduce the candidate numbers to a manageable size for the next stage of more time consuming interview.

Very important phone interview tip – if you want to stay in the selection process till the end, give what the interviewer is looking for come across as:

1) Confident

2) Energetic

3) Polite

4) Attentive

5) Professional

6) Knowledgeable

7) Passionate for the job

In order to sound energetic and attentive, you should either be in a standing position or sitting tall. Stop every task you are doing. Do not allow yourself to be interrupted or distracted. Put on a smile. As you might hear it many times before, the person on the other end of the phone, might not see you but he/she can hear your smile and energy level.

If you received a call for phone interview at work, quickly step out or aside, from the ear shoot of your colleagues.

Go to a quiet environment where you can engage with the interviewers in private and at length. If not, politely explained your situation and request for name, contact number and time to return call. And do return call as you have promised. If the person did not pick up the call and you need to leave a message on the voice mail or with his/her colleague, do provide the essential information like your name, purpose of call and contact number. Never provide your present office phone number even if it is your direct line.

Use the phone interview to your advantage too.

Check with the person on the Company’s culture, dress code and how the shortlisted candidates would be assessed subsequently. For example, number of interviews, panel of interviewers, types of assessments and start date. However, resist from keeping the interviewer on the line for too long or start getting casual with him/her. Stay professional throughout the call and ensure you are speaking in a constant and calm voice. Learn other phone interview tips with your personal career coach.