When was the last time you held a mirror up to your organization’s interview process? Would you like what you see? We asked a handful of job candidates to share with us some of the good, the bad, and the ugly interview experiences they’ve endured in recent months. The feedback we received could very well be the most candid, humorous, and helpful advice hiring managers can get. The take away from these confessions is this underlying message: The interview process must be designed to impress great job candidates just as much as great job candidates must impress you. Without further delay, may the tough love begin.
- Don’t let them see you sweat. Unless it’s code for RUN! “I could tell the people interviewing me were trying to warn me about how stressful the job was without scaring me away. Also, they were nervous about interviewing, period. It was awkward not being the most nervous person in the room during an interview.”
- At least TRY not to dull me to death. “I feel like I am constantly answering the same questions over and over and leave very unexcited over the position. I dazzle and want to be dazzled back! I was offered a high paying job at a local company in Austin and turned it down. The money was attractive, but the company seemed DULL and I knew I would be bored soon enough.”
- Saved by the 5 o’clock whistle. “When possible, I look at the way the cars are parked in the employee parking lots or garages. I worked for an employer where the work environment was not good and over 50 percent of the cars parked in the parking garage were backed in, as if to say, ‘The faster I can get out of here the better.’”
- What job are we hiring for again? “I’ve been interviewed for the wrong position. The position was somewhat similar and, as the interview went on, they looked at me like I didn’t know what I was talking about…..until the end of interview. I didn’t [stick around] to redo another.”
- Our entire budget is dedicated to the interview process. “[A potential employer] flew me out to L.A. for a job interview. They treated me with free meals, a rental car, and a hotel. All expenses paid. Their interviewing and practice were fantastic. But I turned down the offer because of the pay.”
- Get it together, people. “It doesn’t look good for the onboarding process if a company is unorganized during the interview, especially if the interview date was set more than 48 hours in advance. If I’ve gotten myself together in that time, the company should be able to as well.”
- A Priest and a Rabbi walk into an interview… “Cracking jokes is good for an icebreaker, but there’s a PG-13 limit on those. Inappropriate language/political incorrectness during the interview process can show a lack of control in the general company demeanor.”
- The dog ate your homework? “I’m not a fan of the interview question ‘Tell me about your previous job’s responsibilities.’ Isn’t that what my résumé is for? I can regurgitate that for you if you’d prefer, but I think that personality and fitting in with the culture of the company are going to tell you more than a few verbal bullet points can convey.”
- Interview turned interrogation. “If I’m sweating like a sinner in church, I’m more worried about how I look than what I’m saying. Also, it is super important to give an appropriate amount of personal space and be in a place where speaking is easy (not having to shout or whisper to accommodate the surroundings).”
- You will be ours. Forever. “I hate the ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ question. To me, that is irrelevant. Not to be morbid, but we could all be dead in five years. And with the way things are today, the odds of being in the same job for more than five years is slim as well. Five years from now shouldn’t matter to the here and now and what I can do at the present.”
While these tips are certainly a matter of opinion, perhaps they’ve offered you some much needed perspective. After all, it’s all fun and games until your job offers are declined over and over again. If you have anything to add, we’d love to have you join the conversation in the comments below, on Facebook or on LinkedIn.
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