Fifty Interviews - Thirteen Simple Mistakes

Since the middle of December, I have conducted over fifty interviews for several back-office positions. Many were memorable. Many more were memorable for the wrong reasons.

From the interviews I conducted (phone interviews and in-person interviews), here were some of the "mistakes" I saw (and you should avoid):

  1. Having a ring-back tone with inappropriate music
  2. Not answering the phone at the scheduled interview time
  3. Answering the phone with an unprofessional greeting
  4. Not having any questions of your own
  5. Asking about pay as your first question
  6. Not answering my "Tell me about an example of when you..." questions with an actual example
  7. Having only one or two word answers
  8. Arriving 2 hours early for an interview
  9. Arriving 15 minutes late and not apologizing
  10. Allowing your cell phone to ring during the interview without apologizing
  11. Wearing jeans to the interview
  12. Using profanity during the interview
  13. Lying to me about why you left your last job (or giving the impression that you were lying)

When I'm interviewing a candidate, I try to visualize them doing their last job and them doing the job for which I am interviewing them. Be courteous, sincere, honest, and prepared. And, please, be enthusiastic. Be positive and have some energy.