Top ten interviewing mistakes – first quarter 2007

The first quarter of 2007 has been a disaster. I am not sure why everyone has forgotten how to interview, but it has not been pretty. Perhaps the abundance of available positions for real performers has caused everyone to let their guard down and get a little lazy? I have not figured out what is going on yet but if you have any insight you wish to share, I look forward to hearing from you.
Now, the mistakes listed below may seem elementary but these simple rules of interviewing have been ignored or broken by more candidates in the first quarter of 2007 than in all of 2006. Keep in mind these are mistakes made by directors, presidents, and regional VP’s. Not exactly low-tier positions!

  1. Did not dress in professional business attire. I know this seems silly, but I have had school presidents show up with coffee-stained shirts, wrinkled ties, and one even skipped shaving after failing to put on socks with his shoes. I think he was going for the "Don Johnson Miami-Vice look". Don’t laugh; this happened, this year, many times.
  2. Forgot to bring printed copies of their resume on the interview and when asked for a copy replied: "Don’t you have one?"
  3. Failed to bring a pad, pen, or take notes.
  4. Didn’t ask any questions during the interview.
  5. Wore excessive amounts of cologne or perfume. Did not wash hands after smoking hence filling the board room with the smell of tobacco.
  6. Did not send thank you notes after the interview.
  7. When asked what the candidate knew about the interviewing school replied, "I have your web site, but didn’t have time to check it out, I figured you would tell me about it."
  8. Discussing salary requirements in an interview.
  9. See #8. If you are currently unemployed (voluntarily or not), do not try leveraging your previous salary. News flash! You don’t work there anymore and therefore don’t make that salary anymore (severances don’t count), so you have very little to leverage.
  10. Not asking for the job. So what if they called you? So what if a recruiter called you? If you want the job, you have to show you want it and ask for it.

Ignore these basics and you may be passed on for your next big position!

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2 Comments on "Top ten interviewing mistakes – first quarter 2007"

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scott jones

I’ve been recruiting for 25+years, the last 4 in the Career College industry….although I don’t know how thorough you prep your candidates for interviews, NONE of those Top 10 reasons could’ve happened if you did you job correctly….we cannot control as much as we’d like but the one thing we CAN control is the interview prep….I rarely if ever have this type of problem….

Vin Scaramuzzo

Hi Scott, Thanks for your participation.

I agree with your statement 100%. When any capable search firm manages a hiring process none of these items should happen.

My blogs are designed to help hiring managers and candidates with best practices.

The goal here was not to be self-serving and provide guidance that can be used everyday without a search firm.