Normally, career websites offer nifty tips to job candidates on how to dress to impress and ‘wow’ the interviewer. We often hear about interviewing horrors such as interviewees showing up ‘under-dressed’ for the appointment.
While taking human resource courses in undergrad, I had the opportunity to hear some HR professionals recount tales of interviewees. The tales revolved around bad hygiene, bad manners, and bad cases of flatulence. Suffice to say, I was far from throwing my hat in to be a supervisor after that. (But lo and behold, I started my own business. Go figure).
Once I donned the role of interviewer I finally understood the trepidation involved with the task. Job candidates can do some pretty silly things. Being unprepared for an interview is one of them. Unprepared for an interview entails being: sans resume, sans proper etiquette, and sans an inkling about the background of the company. I could rip on interviewees quite extensively but my aim is actually to point out mistakes made by some interviewers.
I have experienced both ends of the spectrum and therefore sympathize with both parties. But as I stated, being unprepared for an interview is just plain silly. The same saying goes for interviewers, too.
At no time should an interviewer have his desk in disarray before a job candidate arrives. There should be absolutely no time wasted on the interviewer running last minutes errands or putting away files. Tidy up before the interview. No one wants to show up 15-20 minutes early for an interview and end up waiting another 15 minutes for the interviewer to get organized.
The interviewer should set the pace of the interview. Job candidates are told to give in-depth answers to questions without being too ‘chatty.’ The interview should never become personal. By the same token, interviewers need to keep their opinions in check. Blowing off steam to a job candidate about the hectic day you’ve been having is not a good impression of the company you’re representing. Leave your rants for the break room (and even then keep your rants to a minimum). The objective of the interview is to get to know the candidate and evaluate whether he will be a good fit for the company. The candidate should not leave knowing more information about you than you know about him.
During an interview… please, please stay focused! Do not try to multi-task while conducting an interview. You scheduled the candidate for a particular length of time and you should devote that time slot to the interview. You would think this would go without saying, but…
Unfortunately, I have either heard of these poor practices or I have experienced them. My remedy? I suggest letting inexperienced interviewers shadow a more experienced interviewer before unleashing them on any unsuspecting job hopefuls.
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