In my half decade of being in HR, I have seen some things that are double take worthy. Interviewing is not the most comfortable task to go through, it is quite a stressful experience as you are self-consciously thinking "Am I saying the right thing?" or "I wonder what they think about me." I have been on both sides of the fence as an interviewer for several companies as well as an interviewee- so I know the nerve racking feeling. There are millions of articles on how to ace an interview, but I would like to give advice on what NOT to do based on scenarios I personally encountered as an interviewer.
Not Knowing the Company You Are Interviewing With
For any recruiter or HR professional, this has to be on the top of the list when it comes to 86ing your name off of the potential hire list. It is understandable that you may have applied for over 30 jobs within the past week, but when you receive the phone call to schedule an interview, 9 times out of 10 the person calling stated the company name. Also, make sure you do preliminary research on each company you apply to. Sometimes during the scheduling process, the recruiter may ask "What made you apply to our company?" This is a way for a recruiter to see how serious you are about the position.
Wearing A Beetle Juice Suit
When interviewing you want to come in as a clean canvas. You want people to remember you for your personality and poise and not as the person who wore the loud pants that look like a circus tent. When it comes to dressing for an interview KEEP IT SIMPLE. Black, navy blue or grey suit with a non-printed collared shirt is classic and sleek.
I feel like this is something that shouldn't be said… but since I have personally seen this (and the candidate made a bubble too) it has to be said. When this happens, I feel like I need to bring out my inner Albert Goldman aka Starina and yell across the room. Leave your gum at home… if not at home, then your car or spit it out before walking through the door.
Faking The Funk
Never "fake the funk" or lie about your experience, it will only make you look bad at the end of the day. This also includes over embellishing your resume. It is understandable that we want to slay our interviews and be on the top of the heap in the candidate pool, but it is always impossible to dig your way out of a lie- If you get caught, even after coming on as a new employee, you will most likely get the boot.
Using Derogatory Language
It is never and I mean NEVER okay to start dropping the "F-bomb" or any language you would not want Mother Teresa to hear. I had an experience where a woman felt like it was okay to use the "N-word" during an interview because she was a black woman like me… Big NO! Stay professional and keep the language clean. The recruiter will perceive that if you speak like that during an interview, then you will speak that way in front of clients, business partners and customers.
Coming Into an Interview Sauced
Sauced. Turnt. Lit. Faded. In other words drunk. Do not booze up and walk into an interview, this is not karaoke at TGIFridays.
Interview the Interviewer
It is always great when a potential candidate goes through an interview and when it is time for them to ask questions they do so. It shows that the candidate wants to know the culture and work life aspects of the company. What you do not want to do is begin to interview your interviewer. Asking questions like "How long have you worked here?", "What's challenging about your job?" and "Where did you work prior to coming here?" is not the best route to go. Remember, the interviewer already has a job and did not bring you in the grill them. Stick with general questions about the company and how you can make an impact on the department you could potentially be working with.