Over the years, I’ve heard people share interview advice they’ve received.
A word of caution interviewers, if you’ve received the following advice. Don’t listen. Plug your ears and LA-LA-LA-LA very loudly.
- Show up 15-30 minutes early for the interview – This is NOT a good idea. Your interview is scheduled at a certain time for a reason. The recruiter and/or hiring managers are busy people. When you arrive early, they are notified that you are there, in the lobby, waiting. Just waiting. We cannot always drop what we are doing to meet with you early. We then feel rushed in the meeting prior to yours because we know you are…waiting. Arriving TOO early is almost as discourteous as being late.
GOOD ADVICE: Arrive at the reception area no more than 5 minutes prior to your appointment time.
- You don’t need to dress up for an interview anymore – Says who? Always aim to make the best impression possible. Unless you are specifically instructed to dress casually (some dev shops may keel over at the sight of a suit) then always dress business professional. Period. You want the company to feel they are getting a professional. And after-all, we get what we pay for. Look the part and the money will follow.
- Don’t bring a paper resume, they have one on file for you - Although it’s likely we DO have one on file for you. Somewhere. On a computer, in a database, or an ATS…you should still be prepared with a paper copy of your resume. You may meet with someone not on the original agenda. They will ask, “Do you have a copy of your resume?”. You will feel better if you can pull one from your portfolio on demand. Plus, you look prepared and happy to showcase your experience. After all, that is why you are there isn’t it?
- You don’t need to take notes, you look smarter if you can remember everything – Trust me, you will not remember everything. However, you will look uninterested, unprofessional and unprepared. Have a nice portfolio with you that contains a writing tablet and a pen. Oh yeah, and your printed resume. Decision makers from the company are taking time to give you precious information about the role and the company. You will want to reference those notes if you are comparing to other opportunities later. You don’t get a “do-over” interview to recapture those details.
- Don’t act too enthused about the position and be sure the company knows that you are there to interview THEM too – Most good companies already know that you are there to evaluate them as your future employer. You don’t need to actually articulate this fact. Saying this, never comes out the way you want it too. It comes out sounding arrogant. If the company isn’t doing their best to impress you and tell you about their culture etc… then you most likely don’t want to work there anyway.
- Follow up with the recruiter or manager every day until they’ve made their decision - This is NOT a good idea. You will become extremely annoying after one to two days of this. There is often a lot going on behind the scenes and the decision to hire may take some time. Ask them in the interview when you can expect to hear back with a decision. Ask if it’s ok to follow up in a week if you have not heard back. If you have not heard back in a week then it is appropriate to contact them.
- Thank you notes are so yesterday and unnecessary – Who doesn’t like a thank-you note?? It is always good etiquette to send a thank you note. Especially if you are interested in the position. This is another way to express your interest and highlight one or two reasons why you feel you would be the best hire for the job.
Words of wisdom… not all advice is good advice. Beware.