After years of sitting on either side of that ever-dreaded interview table (and giving an interview to a horrible candidate today), I figured it was about time to enumerate some things that I have found useful.
Interview-er: (The Bad Guy)
- Prepare your questions beforehand. Don’t look like an idiot.
- Have a set schedule and constrained time-frame. Don’t waste your time nor the interviewee’s.
- Create a personal atmosphere to bring out the “true” interviewee
- Talk about the history/job of what they will be doing.
- Find what they are passionate about; make sure they have the drive to do what needs to be done
- Verify items/topics on their resume. Make sure it’s not fluff!
- Ask relevant and to-the-point questions when verifying any technical qualifications
- Take enough notes to help you remember, not for a master’s thesis
- Smile They need to know you are not there to kill them.
- Ask the interviewee whey they think they are the best candidate (or what they have to offer)
- Appearance and dress at an interview can paint a 1,000 words, but don’t judge them by it or shy away from them if it’s a bit shabby. You may miss hiring a gem that could help your team tremendously
- Be objective. Be smart. Be frank. Be friendly.
- Remember: If people have the drive to learn and get things done, they can be taught anything. (College graduates are prime examples here).
Interview-ee: (The Good Guy)
- Prepare!!! Know about the company and its values so you can include those in some of your answers
- Do NOT be on time; be 10-15 minutes early!
- Be dressed appropriately! (“dress-to-impress” and “first impressions are the only impressions”)
- Give a firm, but not ridiculous handshake
- Be prepared to discuss, in full, anything on your resume Seriously folks, don’t put anything on there that you can’t talk about for at least 5 minutes.
- Sit up!
- Either take notes our clasp you hands and form your arms in a triangular shape to be attentive
- RELAX and take a deep breath.
- Eat a mint beforehand (don’t laugh until you interview someone with bad breath!!!)
- Try and get them to talk about what they want to talk about. The interviewer doesn’t necessarily want to be there either
- If someone asks you the question “Why should I/we hire you?“, answer immediately, giving several reasons
- Ask them questions!!! You will be surprised at the positive response if you ask them questions like:
- What can I do to help you/this group/the company?
- What is the atmosphere like?
- What do you like best about your job (or the company)?
- Why is this position open?
- Make eye contact
- Stay attentive!!!
- Don’t brag on your past, talk about the future
- Remember: You are not only being interviewed, but also you are interviewing them! Make sure you are not getting yourself into a job that is not what you want to do and this company has values that align with your own! Don’t get screwed into a job that’s not what you signed up for.
- If you really need to be hired somewhere, be careful about asking for salary figures. Do your research on salary.com instead.
This is not a pissing contest… do NOT brag!
There are more cliche items I left off, but if there are some more I can add on there, just let me know below!