This week we concluded interviews for our Network Administrator position, and as promised I’ve compiled this small list of mistakes. The things people do at job interviews can be truly amazing… Without further delay:
Don’t Burn Bridges
This one surprises me, but people still do it. They don’t get the job, so they say something spiteful or vindictive as a parting shot. Stupid move. You could have been #2 on our list – we may actually call you in the future because we liked you so much in the interview. We might call you down the road and say, “Hey, a new position opened up and we remembered you, and wanted to know if you’re interested in joining our team.” But no, you have to get that final shot in, thus blowing any chance of us ever wanting to hire you. And you know what’s worse? We’re going to tell anyone who asks us that you’re an ass. So not only did you just screw yourself for any future employment with us, you might have just screwed yourself for your next job interview as well. The world is a small place. You can never be sure who someone might know.
Word to the wise: if you don’t get the job, accept it gracefully and then let us know you really wanted to work here. We might think of you next time something opens up. Don’t be an ass.
Don’t Try And Spin Answers
I hate spin. I mean, I really hate it. It’s a pet peeve of mine. If we ask you what you think your biggest weakness is, it’s because we honestly want to know. We’re looking for people who can be honest with themselves, and honest with us. If you can’t be honest, then we know you’ll try and cover your ass when something goes wrong, and we’re not interested in that type of employee or teammate. Honesty – at all times. It’s paramount. Don’t try and spin your weakness to look like a strength. Don’t say, “Well, my coworkers say I work too hard.” Screw that – you’re spinning, and you’re not really giving us a weakness. This isn’t the Spin Room after a Presidential Debate. This is a job interview.
Don’t Evade Questions, Even If You Don’t Like Them
You know that weakness question I just mentioned? Don’t give me crap like, “Well, I can’t really think of anything offhand.” Balony. Don’t evade the question. Don’t sidestep. Answer the freaking question, and answer it directly. Same thing with any other question we’re asking you – don’t evade, even if it seems difficult or uncomfortable to answer. Guess what? We’re interviewing you, and we might actually be trying to fluster you on purpose to see how you handle an uncomfortable situation. So dive in, head first, and work it out. Evasion is a sure-fire way to eliminate any interest we have in hiring you.
Be Specific When Answering Questions
One of the things we’re trying to determine in an interview is how knowledgable you are. Don’t fear that you might be talking over our heads – we want smart people. If you can’t answer in specifics, with details, then we’re going to think you lack the knowledge to do the job. Really generic answers don’t help us, and they hurt you. Be specific. This is the single-biggest problem I saw with most of the people we interviewed. They simply couldn’t be specific.
Take Deep Breaths – Don’t Be Nervous
Your nerves aren’t going to lose you the interview. This point is more for your benefit. Hey, we’ve all interviewed for jobs, and we know it’s stressful. But do your best to relax and take your time. Go slow, think things through, articulate your thoughts, and for heaven’s sake breath. If you relax a bit more, and just be yourself, it won’t seem nearly as stressful. Remember, if you get the job you’re going to be working with us every day. So think about us as your team members already.
Don’t Rush It – Sell Us
Also remember that this is your time to sell us on you. You are your own best infomercial. So don’t rush it. Make sure you get everything across that you think is important. We’re open-minded people. The whole reason we’re interviewing you is because we think you could actually be the right person. If we didn’t think you had a shot in hell of doing the job, we wouldn’t have interviewed you. So sell us. Make it so that only an idiot wouldn’t hire you.
Do Research On Your Potential Employer
Check the website, see who we are and what we do. Ask colleagues if they know about us, or what we do. Get a picture in your head before you come to the interview, because we are probably going to quizz you just to see if you’ve done your homework. After all, we don’t want to hire someone who just wants to pickup a paycheck – we want to hire people who are enthusiastic about what we’re doing. If you don’t know what we’re doing, how can you be excited about it? And if you can’t find that information in trade journals, the website, or other sources of information then call us before the interview and ask (preferably ask us during the phone interviews). It show us that you are interested in our company and our team. Take interest in us, and we’ll take a lot of interest in you.
Show Us Your Passion
As I said in the first post, you can’t fake enthusiasm. But if you have it, don’t hide it. Passion, enthusiasm, and genuine excitement for your field of expertise can do more to sell us than 100 pages of resume qualifications. We want enthusiastic people who are excited to come to work every day. We work hard to make our work environment fun, friendly, and productive. We’re not going to hire a curmugeon. Show us your passion – be excited! Don’t be afraid to be animated when describing things to us.