Interviewee Pet Peeves

This round of pet peeves is focused on poor interviewee experiences (come on, you knew another pet peeve post was coming):

  • First impression:  I have seriously had someone show up 40 minutes late with no warning call, etc and then be upset that we didn’t want to continue with an interview. I get it…bad things happen but if you don’t demonstrate that being late was concerning to you; I don’t want you to work with me.
  • Not answering the question:  There are many benefits of practice interviews (even if just reading sample questions) but don’t b.s. me. If you don’t know the answer or can’t think of an example, own that.  There is nothing wrong with saying you need a minute to think about a scenario/example. Rambling is way worse of an impression than needed a few minutes to answer.
  • Bring your current frustration:  Inevitably, you will be asked why you are leaving your current role. Be honest but do not bring all of your baggage from your current role into this job interview.  At some point, I will begin to question on how much you are part of the problem with the volume of “issues” everyone else at the company has.
  • Don’t consider this a two way street:  I’m always surprised by the interviewees that have no questions for me. You should be able leveraging this interview to interview me too.  You are not just the interviewee; this is a chance for you to decide if this opportunity fits you.  When you don’t ask or seem unconcerned, then I may interpret this as a lack of passion/interest.
  • Do some research:  I’m amazed by how many interviewees have clearly not researched anything about the company (sometimes even knowing the mission of the company).  If the company makes a product, USE the product. If the company shares the org values, read them.  This can really help you provide answers that speak to the interviewers.
  • Be concise: You may be hearing this question for the first time but the interviewers have been going through this multiple times. I once had a man take 45 mins to answer one question…He didn’t have the job by the 10th minute.  They can always ask a follow up question (if you don’t answer something enough).

As much as these are pet peeves, they are mine and as a leader that doesn’t mean I get to simply judge others. Instead, these serve as opportunities for others and for me to grow. If this stuff was easy, I wouldn’t be sharing.

What are your interviewee pet peeves?

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  1 comment for “Interviewee Pet Peeves

  1. Melinda
    March 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Bore me. Might sound obnoxious but I have had lots of fabulous conversations with people I have interviewed. But there are times when it seems like an eternity. One of the main reasons I hire people is because I want to continue the conversation.

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