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!