Believe it or not, hiring managers can also be uneasy during interviews, particularly so when we interview someone who is obviously unqualified and/or unprepared. This means that everything you can do to make the hiring manager’s job easier in the interview will put you that much ahead of applicants who are not as well prepared.
To set the stage for the interview advice I’ll be giving, read carefully the following example of a scenario that is all too common in many interviews I’ve conducted over the years.
Candidates come into the interview room, dressed in jeans or something equally inappropriate, carrying nothing to write with and no notebook to write in. They mumble their name and overall give the impression that they’ve done little or no preparation. When asked to give an overview of their experience, they do so in a few short sentences which have little or no relevance to my job opening. Their answers to my questions are generic and could apply to any position, with no indication that any research was done of my company. They talk about their experience but not their accomplishments.
Some of the information they tell me contradicts what is on their resume, leading me to wonder if they’ve even read their own resume before the interview.
Worse yet, they sometimes display arrogance or otherwise try to look superior because of their experience and presumed abilities. Or, alternately, their lack of preparation becomes obvious after the first question and they are then too nervous to effectively answer subsequent questions.
At the close of the interview, the only questions they ask are related to salary, working hours and benefits. They then call back in three days and wonder why I haven’t yet offered them the job.
Does this sound overly critical? Or – be honest now! – have you exhibited yourself some of the traits described during one of your interviews? Don’t be alarmed if you have. Many of the components in this scenario are present in at least half of the interviews I’ve conducted over the years. Fortunately, the fix is very straightforward because the root cause of every one of the negative behaviors described can attributed to one thing: lack of preparation.
The subsequent series of posts will explain in detail exactly how you can be the most well prepared candidate in any interview. Preparation is the golden word when it comes to job interviews. It’s the key to impressing the hiring manager and that’s the key to a job offer.