Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Things you shouldn't do in an interview

Everyone says that there are things you should and shouldn't do in an interview, but here are a few obvious ones that surprisingly still happen quite often. I'm making this list because this can be automatic disqualifications from getting a job that you'd love to have:

1. Do not lie.
I'm dead serious. This happens way more than you'd think. During the process of one interview, the interviewee was talking about how he had written a massive report on regulation codes and how a project fit it. It sounded quite impressive, until he mentioned that he had brought it with him. In looking through the report, it was clear that he could not have written a good portion of the report based on language and reference documents. When he was asked about it, he stated that he actually only wrote about 40% of the report. Lying during the interview got him automatically disqualified from getting the position that he would have gotten otherwise.

2. Do not show up unprepared
In an interview for the main project being worked on, the interviewee did not prepare for the interview at all. I ended up spending most of the interview explaining background than actually interviewing the individual. If you come prepared to an interview with questions, it shows that you've researched into the job and are actually interested.

3. Do not ask about other positions
The worst interview I had was with an individual who had a great deal of experience in the field relating to the position. When I asked what he was most interested in for the subject field, he stated something that was not related to the position at all. Keep in mind, this is not a bad thing. I asked him how he would handle the position available as it wasn't his big interest. The possible responses he should have had could have been:
  • I don't have experience in the field of this position, but it is something that I am interested in pursuing. I am currently interested in (A) because that is what I have experience in so far.
  • I feel that my drive in (A) shows my motivation to learn new things.
  • I am interested in this position in spite of (A)
Okay, so the last one could use some spiffing up, but you get the idea. The response he had was this:
"Oh well, are there any positions available that relate to (A) or a division I could transfer in to?"

At this point I should have just told him "Thank you for coming, have a nice day." He pretty much stated he had no interest in this position, and had just wasted an hour of my life that I could have spent interviewing someone that actually wanted the position.

Please, do not do any of this things if you actually intend on getting a job. These were all college graduate engineers, and they could have used this advice ahead of time. Don't be one of them.

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