Having been on many interviews in my lifetime and recently having gone on several more, I decided to freshen up on my interviewing skills and do some research on the best interview etiquette and decorum. Yet, I’ve discovered in a few cases that after having put on my very best both aesthetically and mentally I was met by a least than favorable interviewer. So for all the interviewers out there here is my observation and 4 things I wish every interviewer would know when conducting an interview.
1) Have a personality
Whether you are interviewing for an Ad agency, a law firm, an auto mechanic or a cashier at Forever 21 be yourself. Don’t be afraid to have conversation and communicate outside the sheet of paper you check off like a script. I don’t know how many interviews I’ve been on and ended up leaving the interview feeling like, “Wait, who was that? Where am I? And was this position for the Walking Dead because right now I’m so confused” There is definitely a way to be professional and personable without sacrificing the purpose of our meeting.
2) Love your job, brand, organization… or at least like it
Speaking of personality please be somewhat passionate about what it is you do or the brand you represent. Or at least attempt to make me think you sorta care. I’ve gone into a few job interviews feeling a bit on the fence about a position, perhaps because it’s a slightly longer commute, a lower rate of pay or longer hours than I would have normally liked to work but because the interviewer was so passionate, optimistic and sincere about what the position had to offer I ended up accepting gigs from a few of them. And for the ones I didn’t or couldn’t accept, I was confident in referring friends and eligible candidates that would be a good, if not better fit, because the lasting impression was so positive. Conversely, I’ll never forget I went to an interview for a retail position and the manager spent 8 mins going on and on about how horrible the customers were, how terribly long the hours are and that basically she’d sold her soul to the devil. I mean, please be honest, just don’t be traumatic. Afterall, I don’t wanna leave an interview feeling like I have a Phd in psychiatry. Unless of course you really do have to sell your soul to the devil, in that case, please let me know immediately and move on to point3.
3) Be honest. Be real. Nothing is perfect.
Nothing is 100% easy peasy. If it were everyone would do it (or so I hear). Every job or profession has it’s good days, it’s bad days and many days in between. If you deal with rowdy clients quite frequently because of your demographic or the services you provide say so. If often times employees will inevitably have to work many hours overtime, say so. If vacation time during the holidays is not an option, for the love of humanity… say so! Whatever the reality of your industry is, both pro and con say so and say so with honesty and clarity of what you expect from your employees. A new hire is less inclined to walk away when they know what they’re walking into. Actually that goes for any hire probably.
4) Listen…like… really listen.
In one of my recent interviews the interviewer would ask me a question, and as soon as I began to answer the question she would look down and start writing. I didn’t think much of it. I figured it was pretty standard routine. You gotta take your notes, no biggie. Next question. I begin to answer then she picked up her phone. “Well perhaps she has an emergency going on,” I thought. Then she giggled, and I was like, “I hope no one died cus thats an awkward response.” Next question. I begin to answer and she cuts me off mid-answer to ask the next question… sighhhh… Long story short, I didn’t take that job.