There are few things we fear more than the job interview. This week, I found myself unexpectedly on the other side of the fence as an interviewer. Here are some of my observations.
Candidate no. 1 – It would help to brush the white dog fur off your black jacket. Just an idea.
Shake hands like you mean it. For about 3-5 seconds maximum. But not too hard, and try to smile. Don’t give me a limp-arse handshake that feels like you’ve inserted a salmon fillet into my hand. And don’t extend an index finger for tickling – it’s weird.
Q: “What is your greatest weakness?”
When discussing a weakness it’s best to stick with “I know it’s a cliché, but I work too hard” or “Due to my perfectionist nature, I’ve had to work more on delegating”.
Do not say: “I actually get really upset when people yell at me, or are mean to me, and I break down and cry a lot.”
Q: “What would you say if I asked you to stay back on a Friday night to complete a project?”
The correct answer is: “I’m always keen to see projects through to completion, so I would have no problems in staying back. I understand this is necessary from time to time.”
The less correct answer is: “What would you like me to say?”
Keep interior decor recommendations to a minimum
“Open plan offices, how does anyone get any privacy?”
Candidate number 2 – It’s not a good idea to complain about the open plan office environment before you’ve got the job. We have mobile phones now so that we can move to a discreet location to make pap smear appointments.
Try not complain (repeatedly) about the salary. Using words such as ‘bewildering’ and ‘I need to eat’ doesn’t make the interviewer want to punch the air and phone HR straight away to make an offer.
Things I don’t need to know include ‘likes antique furniture restoration’ and ‘Can send a fax.’ Well done you! But it’s not 1984 and we have a thing called email.
Dennis Wongbert has heard that it’s good to go to a job interview with a full bag. He now attends all interviews with an inflatable palm tree popping out of his briefcase. FYI he is looking for work in the PR sector. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you hear of anything.