Insights into the forces shaping our industry.

Please DON’T do these 5 things in an interview

Candidate Advice, Hiring Advice

As a candidate looking to get hired at a new company or a manager looking to bring in fresh talent, you need to know what to do and what not to do in an interview. You will also need to prepare for what questions to ask and what questions will be asked. As recruiters, we educate both potential employees and companies on how to interview better.

For those being interviewed, here are 5 things not to do during an interview:

  • Don’t rely on your resume to sell or represent you to the company. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer by going beyond what your resume entails. It’s always more beneficial to explain your success from a numbers standpoint.
  • Don’t give a wimpy handshake. Go firm or go home. Firm handshakes portray confidence.
  • Don’t joke around during the interview. We get it, people get nervous and it’s an easy thing to do, but while you don’t have over-do your serious side, try to keep it professional.
  • Don’t offer negative information about yourself. Stress your achievements and the positive aspects of what makes you a great candidate.
  • Don’t arrive late! Plan for heavy traffic or anything else that might interfere with you getting to the interview on time.

For those doing the interviewing, here are 5 things you also should not do during an interview:

  • Don’t waste your interviewing time. Come prepared. Your time will be better spent when you come into the interview with questions and comments on their past experience, so during the face-to-face time, you can get to know the real candidate. Also ensure everyone who will need to be in the interview is available for that specific day.
  • Don’t send the wrong “non-verbal” impression. Body language accounts for a large percentage of face-to-face communication. Be aware of unintentional non-verbal cues like facial expressions and hand gestures.
  • Don’t ask cliché interview questions. Differentiate yourself in the eyes of the candidate by not asking the same questions that they always hear. By asking more direct questions you can add more value to the interview and get the information you are looking for much more quickly.
  • Don’t just present the job; sell the career move. If you have an exceptional candidate, don’t let them get away without hearing about the great opportunity that you’re presenting. Explain the roll, opportunities for growth, perks, the culture and job flexibility. Finding ways to appeal to a candidates career needs gives you a much better chance of winning them over.
  • Don’t leave the candidate wondering about the follow up. When you end the interview be sure to give a clear understanding on how you will follow up and a timeframe in which you will do so.

In the end, there is nothing more important in the hiring process than the time you spend with your interviewer or candidate. Think of it as a networking event and an opportunity for both parties to find the right fit for both the job and the company. What we do during this process can help both parties successfully move forward.

Brooke Ziolo

President / Executive Recruiter | Lighting | Lighting Design | Lighting Controls
on To Stay or Not to Stay?