For many people interviews, well… they suck.  It is like a first date and many of them are blind dates because they may be with a person you have never met before.  I have noticed that most people fall into one of a few categories:

Nervous Nelly – This person is so nervous that they make others nervous.  They let you know they are nervous through their body language, their voice, and what they say.  When answering a question it is obvious they are trying to see if their answer is “correct” or what the interview wants to hear.  This is not good because the interviewer has not idea who you really are or what YOUR answers are.

Cocky Cal – You know this person.  Everyone is beneath them, including this position they are applying for.  They “can” do this job and they have done it before.  Their answers are short with no substance.  “Oh yeah, I did that a while back and lead the group in sales.”  This may not kill you in an interview but you definitely do not win any friends or allies in the process.

Unprepared Prentiss – They need to be reminded about the position they applied for.  Their first question is about your stock price and you are a privately held company, oops!  Their resume needs to be updated and they don’t have any questions.  This shows a HUGE lack of interest on the candidate’s part.

Casual Casey – He crosses the line several times during the interview and thinks y’all are buds, not professionals.  You hear “ya know what I mean?” a lot.  He says things like “cute blonde” or talks bad about his boss/coworkers.  He also checks his phone a lot during the interview.  I do not keep them in the interview long as I know their interests lie elsewhere. 

Together Tiffany – They come in 10-15 minutes early.  She is professionally dressed and has copies of her resume along with having her questions for you written out.  She recognizes you because she took the time to go on LinkedIn and see your profile.  She really stands out when she sends thank you emails to everyone, including the receptionist.

Can Casey, Prentiss, Cal, and Nelly get hired?  Probably, but it will be a lot harder for them than Tiffany.  Remember, this is a game.  #1 rule of the game?  Don’t talk about the game.  I know that not everyone has a high EQ to be able to handle the game but that is where preparation comes into play.  You need to plan things out and practice them.  This is not rocket science people!

So here are a few of the things you need to do at a minimum before and during your next interview:

  • Look at your resume again and compare it with the job description/posting.
  • Look for things they may ask about.  Hell, just Google it.  If you are interviewing for a training position Google “questions to ask a corporate trainer.”
  • Have your clothes ready.  See my previous post.
  • Make sure you know how long it will take to drive there and where you will park.  Do you need money to park?
  • Look up who you will be meeting with: LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, etc…  Do your research.
  • Look at, check that… READ the company’s website.  I am AMAZED at how many people have not even looked at our website when they interview.
  • Look for news stories (good ones) on the company and know who their competitors are.  Walk into Coke for an interview with a bottle of Aquafina and your interview is OVER!
  • Write down questions to ask and not just pat questions like “what is your culture” but questions that show you have done your homework.  Maybe “I noticed that a lot of your employees are active on social media throughout the day, is that part of the company’s culture?”
  • Pay attention to your body language.  I will cover more in another post.
  • Take notes.  Be sure to write down names.
  • Try to get contact information so you can send thank you emails.

By doing this does it guarantee success?  Oh hell no, but the odds will be in your favor.

The Man

My problem with interviews, one day I’ll think one thing and the next day I’ll think the exact opposite.
Skeet Ulrich