Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Interview Killers

Bill Brady’s Top Ten

1. Failure to prepare for the interview. When your first question to a recruiter is, “What exactly does this employer do?” you can be guaranteed that your recruitment score is in the minus category. It is important to be aware of what they do, what part of the organization is actually interviewing (along with what that organization does) and current events impacting the employer and organization. You will need to do some homework.

Try to learn what interview style (informational, case, behavior, etc.) you will be encountering so you can be better prepared.

2. Failure to match your skills and abilities with the employer’s needs. You may love Disneyland and Disney World, but if you are not interested in, and have experience in, the hosting and travel industry your chances of working there are very limited. You might have finance as your emphasis, but they are looking for people who have finance in the travel/hosting/resort world to fill their positions.

Insufficient achievement evidence. You just don’t have the right stuff. There is nothing that demonstrates that your skill and talent set matches, or is at a high enough level, to justify an offer for the position. The job they are trying to fill requires more than you have to offer.

Unwilling to start at the bottom. Some people are expecting to begin at a level or salary that is higher than the employer can justify for an untried individual. Even when your degree says high, you may need to be prepared to start low, learn the job details and culture, then prove that you are worth what you believe you are.

3. Asks no or poor questions about the job. Closely related to numbers 1 and 2, it is important to come to the interview with some carefully thought-out and researched questions about the job. Almost every interview ends with the interviewer asking, “Do you have any questions?” You use this time to clarify anything that you have heard during the interview (consider having a note card with you to record your questions) and to identify the next steps in the recruiting process.

Keep your questions relevant and simple. It may be too much to ask for a detailed forecast of the organization’s future marketing plans, but quite appropriate to ask how some recent event may be affecting company morale or outlook. Keep it professional and show your interest.

4. Undefined career goals & objectives. Many of you will be asked about your goals. Without some sort of goals or objectives an employer must guess what you really want to do, and most recruiters will not take that chance. When you have objectives, you appear to understand your own skills and abilities, and you demonstrate your ability to analyze these factors in an applied and meaningful way.

If you can analyze and set goals for yourself it is assumed that you can do this for the employer.

5. Little interest or enthusiasm—indifference. Most employers are looking for passion about a job, position, and industry. When you have passion, many employers will forgive a lack of minor experience or skills, knowing that your enthusiasm will drive you to obtain the skills and knowledge.

6. Evasive—makes excuses. Someone who does not answer a question is usually not listening (which is not good) or trying to avoid the answer. Recruiters want to know why and red flags start waving when evasiveness happens. If you can’t or don’t want to answer a question, for whatever reason, tell the recruiter you can’t answer the question, rather than pausing and stumbling over the reason.

7. Unable to express yourself clearly. If you can’t be clear and concise in an interview, it will be assumed that you probably will not improve on the job. It is like sending a resume with spelling or grammatical errors, it is just not acceptable.

8. No confidence or poise—no eye contact. Lack of eye contact in this culture is considered a lack of confidence. You don’t have to stare or lock gazes, but at least look the recruiter in the eye as you make points and express your thoughts. Lack of confidence will always leave a concern that you could be a high maintenance employee and most employers don’t want to hire that kind of person.

9. Overbearing, overly aggressive, and arrogant. Regardless of how good you are, if you brag about it you will make people uncomfortable. Consider that President Hinkley has counseled us to be cautious of arrogance (including his prayer for peace and comfort.) Consider Alma 38:12 “…boldness, but not overbearance…”

10. Narrow geographical interest. It goes without saying that when you focus on a smaller location, you will narrow the number of jobs available. If you have a geographic preference, you should follow it, but remember that it may reduce your available opportunities. It is not necessarily bad, it may just be a limiting factor.