Interview tips: an interviewer’s perspective

August 27, 2010

before interview 300x207 Interview tips: an interviewers perspectiveYou know how you’re always told what to do and, more important, not do at a job interview?

Do dress professionally
Do arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled interview time
Do shake hands with a firm grip
Do maintain eye contact
Do bring extra copies of your resume
Do answer to the point
Don’t wear jeans
Don’t be late
Don’t mutter under your breath
Don’t start negotiating the salary
Don’t tell jokes or discuss politics/religion
Don’t chew gum

All of the above are golden rules.

You’ll also find plenty of advice online on how to answer specific questions – you know those basic ones: describe yourself; what are your strengths/weaknesses; where do you see yourself five years from now…

A lot of people simply memorize “standard” answers and regurgitate them at the interview.

femaleinterveiwer1 Interview tips: an interviewers perspective

Let me tell you as the person sitting across the table listening to your crammed responses, “You are not the only one who knows how to use Google.”

When you start telling me that one of your weaknesses is that you’re a perfectionist, do you know whom you sound like?

The 11 interviewees who preceded you.

I want to hear what YOU think could be YOUR weakness in a professional environment.

Also, I want to know how you plan to overcome it.

I don’t want to hear a strength turned upside down and presented as a failing.

Do you have issues with getting distracted easily? Do you spend too much time socializing? Do you have a tendency to keep a messy desk? Yeah tell me about those things. They’re what make you, YOU.

I want to know what YOUR real weaknesses are.

The same way I’d like to know what YOUR real strengths are.

Are you great at organizing social lunches so you and your colleagues can distress? Are you an immaculate planner? Do you excel at multi-tasking? Give me examples that will help you stand out.

Be creative.

But don’t lie.

That’s another thing people don’t realize when interviewing for a job. Never say you know something when you don’t.

If you’re doing it to impress me, trust me, I’ll dig deeper.

And then it’s all going to fall flat on its face, isn’t it?

Interviewers are looking for specific instances, not words.

Don’t just say you’re passionate about something. Demonstrate it through past experiences.

If you tell me you love reading non-fiction, but can’t name the last five books you’ve read in the genre, all I register in my mind is blah, blah, blah, blah.

And I immediately lose all faith in you.

So, invest some time into each interview you go to. Research the company and the position. If you know who the interviewers are, look up their bios.

Know what you’re getting into.

Yes, you can have canned responses, but only when YOU have taken the time to pen them down yourself.

When you’re asked to talk about yourself, your answer can essentially be the same at different organization’s interviews – but ensure that it’s relevant to the position you’re seeking.

stand out from the crowd1 300x300 Interview tips: an interviewers perspective

Be yourself. Walk in there with the confidence of being comfortable in your own skin.

The more you pretend to be something/someone you’re not, the more nervous you will be.

There are a lot of interview tips out there … you can use them as a yardstick, but don’t allow them to be your failing.

We’re looking for authenticity.

We want to know the professional YOU are – not the guy who typed up those tips.

You might also want to read an additional interview tip (You’re a CEO).

Worn an interviewer’s hats and want to share additional tips?

Fire away.

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dp seal trans 16x16 Interview tips: an interviewers perspectiveCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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4 Responses to Interview tips: an interviewer’s perspective

  1. Anon1No Gravatar on August 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Umm… I promise not to give you standard-google-answers if you don’t ask me standard-google-questions !
    Stop asking me what my weaknesses are..
    If I spend too much time on Facebook (or reading this blog), I’m NOT going to tell YOU, my potential employer at an interview.
    Ask me other questions… make your judgement about me by asking me about my projects, my interests etc.

  2. MansiNo Gravatar on August 28, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I get where you’re coming from and appreciate it, but you have to understand that aside from those other more “interesting” questions that allow you the opportunity to showcase your abilities and demonstrate your interests, the basic (strength/weakness/five-year-plan) questions are almost always required by HR. We know we have to ask them. You know you have to answer them. Then why not prepare for those in ways that will help you stand out as an individual (not just a sheep in the herd)? And it’s a good thing you recognize you spend too much time on Facebook or reading this blog … only when you acknowledge that as a problem, will you take steps to correct it.

    Tell me why you think it is a “weakness” (I think it’s great if these forums allow you to stretch your mental muscles and network) and how you plan to rectify it. I am all ears.

    Just to clarify — when I say you, I don’t really mean “you.” :-)

  3. Anon1No Gravatar on August 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

    I guess I’m questioning why HR requires answers to these standard strength/weakness questions. Asking questions out of a pre-determined list is as pointless as answering them in rehearsed manner.
    Different kinds of jobs require different kinds of skills.. and it’s the employer’s responsibility to judge that based on conversation and maybe more astute questioning and observations. Of course, it’s the interviewee’s responsibility to provide honest, clear, concise answers.

    Also if I want to recognize something as a problem and try and correct it, the office of a potential employer is not the correct venue for it…

    Just to clarify — when I say “I”, I don’t really mean “I” ;)

    Have a good weekend, MB !


  4. MansiNo Gravatar on August 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I suppose it’s in order to get a baseline…or maybe I’m watching "Lie to Me" a bit much! :-)

    Have a good weekend, too, Anon1.


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