Mar 31, 2021

1.  Not being at least two minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.

You don’t EVER want an interviewer to be waiting for you.  It’s disrespectful of their time!


2.  Talking too much.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Of course, you should answer questions that are posed.  But don’t use a small question as an excuse to give a big answer.

The key is to take about as long to answer as the interviewer took to ask the question.  Then you should ask a question like, “Have I answered your question?” or “Is there more you’d like me to say about that?”  Be careful not to fill up all the silences with … blather!


3.  Not being friendly. 

Some people, when they feel stressed, are overly friendly (and it’s fake-friendliness).  Others just go straight-faced.  Remember, the interviewer can see what you’ve done on your resume or LinkedIn profile; the interview is their chance to decide whether you’re the sort of person they’d like to work with (or the sort of person who will fit in with the work group that you’d be joining).  Friendliness is a piece of that.  Going in to the interview, decide you LIKE the interviewer, and treat them as you would someone whom you like.  (Do NOT treat them as your friend, though; they’re not your friend, they’re someone you’ve just met – but whom you like!)


4.  Not being curious. 

What does the company do?  How long have they been doing it?  Where do they do it (where are their customers located)?  What are their plans for growing in the future?  Who do they see as being their major competitors?  You can research some of this via Google, but it’s often true that some of the newest info isn’t yet generally available.  You should be curious about your interviewer, and the organization.  Ask!  We’re all adults; if something’s confidential, they’ll tell you and you’ll drop the question.


5.  Having no good questions. 

“How much is the salary?” is not a good question.  “When do you need me to start?” and “What are your benefits?” are not good questions, either.  Get on the company’s website; check their most recent SEC form 10-Q (which every publicly-traded company is required to file quarterly); type “Media stories about (company name)” into Google and then read what comes up; try typing the name of the company into the search box on LinkedIn and look at the backgrounds of the people who work there.  Start a question with, “I noticed that …” and then mention something that turned up in your search, ideally something you can express some enthusiasm about; if you’re told that’s not accurate, just drop it!


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