Browsing articles tagged with " Interviewing"

10 Things I Hate About Interviewing with You–Follow Up

Sep 23, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Interviewing, Professional Development  //  1 Comment

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If you think about it, interviewing, on both sides of the desk, is a lot like online dating.  You have a profile (your resume and LinkedIn profile) and the company has a profile (annual reports, online databases) and both of you are matched up via those profiles. Sometimes it’s done via a computer algorithm (online sites), sometimes you have a matchmaker (agency).

This past weekend my friend Thomas LaRock ( blog | @sqlrockstar ) and I presented on 10 Things I Hate About Interviewing with You at SQLSaturday San Diego.  We drew upon that analogy to talk about the myths and missteps that people make while being the interviewer and interviewee.  You can download the slides in my document library, but I wanted to share the 10 Tips and the additional resources we gave.

10 Tips for Better Interviewing

1. Do your homework

Your job in an interview is to come across as smart and confident.  There are things you need to do to get ready.  Having read the resume and the company profiles is just one important step.

2. Study the resume & job posting

You don’t want to be reviewing the resume or the job posting as you are interviewing.  You won’t be able to think of great questions or to listen while answers are being given.

3. Have a plan, but be prepared to detour

All that prep is good, but you need to be able to come up with questions and answers if the interview starts heading in a different direction.  I once interviewed for a project, only to have the interviewer realize that I was a better fit for a much higher role and project.  That meant more money and a better gig.

4. Ask real questions

We give a list of some of the interviewer questions we think have proven to be trite, tired and nearly useless.  Let’s just say they involve mirrors and kryptonite.

5. Listen, then ask follow up questions

It kills me to see an interviewer asking questions but not really processing them; they might as well be a webform recording my responses.  And I’ve seen interviewees give responses to questions, even crazy questions, and not ask any follow ups or ask context-seeking questions. That says to me they aren’t really “there” in the interview.

6. Be engaging and sincere, even if you have to fake it

It really hurts to see an interviewee be flat and less than passionate about what they do.  It know interviewing is stressful and nerves get in the way.  But to fail at being engaging comes across as flat.

7. Your job is to sell, without being salesy

Never rate yourself as 11 out of 10 or to say you know everything.  Interviewers don’t actually like overconfidence.  There needs to be a few “it depends” discussions and a few “I don’t knows” if the interview questions are good.  On the other side of the desk, an interviewer that spends more time selling the company or the project might be desperate for a resource for reasons you don’t want them to be.

8. Show humility, but don’t downplay your strengths

Be yourself.  Admit to when you don’t know something.  But don’t downplay your knowledge or skills.  And ladies, we are really bad about doing this.  Some guys, too, I know.  But ladies, seriously.  Take credit for what you know and the successes you’ve had. Other candidates are telling the interviewers that they the only person on the planet that can be successful in this job.  You need to rate strong.

9. Follow up if you promised to do something

If you promised to send references or more details about your background, or even to share a book title you really liked, do it.  Even if you don’t make it for this job, you’ll want a great reason to keep your name in front of that interviewer.  Interviewers, if you promised to seen updates about the status of the process, do it or don’t make the promise.

10. Be willing help each other, even if there isn’t a good fit

If you find out during the interview that the job isn’t for you, that’s not a fail.  If you know someone who might fit, forward along the information to them.  That’s a win for everyone.  Don’t hoard job opportunities. 

I’ve included some background on each of these, but to get the good discussion stories behind these, you’ll need to attend one of our future presentations of this.    We have one story about the importance of your interviewers not needing to know the status of your underwear, too.  It’s not all do’s and don’ts

Interviewing Resources

Just a few of the resources I recommend for interviewing and being interviewed.

Fun

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/interview_questions

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/interviewees

 

Tom’s Blog

http://thomaslarock.com/2012/09/10-things-i-hate-about-interviewing-you/

http://thomaslarock.com/2012/09/10-things-i-hate-about-interviewing-with-you/

•…plus many more….

 

Karen’s Blog

http://www.datamodel.com/index.php/2012/01/30/another-zombie-job-posting-data-architect-designer-implementer-operational-support/

http://www.datamodel.com/index.php/2010/07/16/looking-for-a-job-some-free-advice-thats-paid-for-1/

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