Having spent the last decade recruiting, I’ve had many a conversation with hiring managers after a candidate exits the interview. And, while I always hope for exceptional feedback, sometimes the news is not so glowing. Sometimes, the candidate has done something so annoying to the interviewer that, at best, she is now questioning her interest in keeping this person in the running.
Everybody knows that you’re an idiot if you show up late for an interview. It’s completely disrespectful of the interviewer’s time.
But showing up insanely early is also going to make you look like a jerk. Why? Because, when you arrive more than five or 10 minutes before your meeting, you’re putting immediate pressure on the interviewer to drop whatever she may be wrapping up and deal with you. Or, she’s going to start the interview feeling guilty because she knows she just left you sitting in the lobby for 20 minutes.
When you’re hyper-prepared and hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for certain questions for which you’ve prepared to be asked, you will likely have a very hard time engaging in genuine conversation with the interviewer.
Even if you’re interviewing for a role within the most free-wheeling, fun-loving organization, the fact remains that you are in an interview. Never, ever get wooed into believing that the casual nature of the environment frees you to enter the TMI zone.
Certainly, it can be stressful and exhausting to shuttle through hours of interviewing at a company, to the point it all starts feeling like a bit of a blur. But if you really want this job, you need to stay focused and energized, and you absolutely must end strong. A strong, genuine, “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way.
Interviewing can be among the most stressful things we do as adults, especially when we need the job badly. It’s definitely never a breeze. But keeping a cool head, arriving prepared to engage in conversation, and staying focused on the value you can bring to that organization is going to help you make it through with flying colors. People hire people, not robots, not jerks, and not people who don’t value their time. Read more…