Job Advice

What NOT to do in an interview – Part 1

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July 27, 2009
Last week I read the the article "You Said What?!" by writer, Rachel Zupek, and seriously could not stop laughing!  I had people in the office looking at me like I had lost my marbles.  However, shortly after sharing the article with those around me, it was obvious that I was not the only one to find it funny.  But what is scary is that the reason why I was laughing is because I have heard very similar things in the interviews that I have conducted.  Although sometimes the comments provide some comic relief,  in most cases they are rude, frustrating and annoying.  And beyond that, they may cause the interviewer to infer things about the person that are just not accurate.  

So the obvious advice to give is to NOT "wing it" in an interview.  Prepare answers for several of the "most frequently asked questions" so that you can give an intelligent answer and not just say the first thing that pops in your head.   Most of the questions listed in this article are going to be asked in an interview in some shape or form.  Think through each question in great detail before you just blurt out a response.   But in saying that, you also don’t want to rehearse your responses so much that you can’t be flexible if the interviewer changes the question up a little bit from what you prepared for. 

The second piece of advice for Part 1 of this topic is to make sure you are aware of what personal information needs to be left out of the interview.  I once had a candidate tell me in my first interview with them that they were simply looking for a better paying job so that they could leave their spouse.  TMI!!  That is irrelevant to why you would even qualify for the position at hand, so I don’t care to hear about it.   To be safe, the general rule of thumb is that you should leave most personal information out and make sure to stick to your professional background as the main topic of your responses.  Although you may build a good rapport with the interviewer and it may feel like a comfortable situation to talk personal stuff, it’s still best to leave it out. 

More tips to come in Part 2….