Ask a Hiring Manger: Interview Pet Peeves

This week, the team at MyPerfectResume decided to reach out to the hiring managers and HR pros in our network of contacts and ask them a question about the interview process. Specifically, we wanted to hear about some of their pet peeves at the interview and negotiation table.  Here’s how they responded.“I don’t like when candidates touch their faces. Keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes, and especially your nose while I’m talking to you. That’s gross.”“When you’re waiting in the reception area, be polite to the receptionist. And don’t take out your phone and pretend to play with it so you don’t have to talk to her. You’re not fooling anyone when you do that.”“I don’t like when candidates begin sentences by saying ‘to be perfectly honest’ or ‘I have to be honest with you.’ Of course you should be honest. I expect nothing less. Sometimes this is just a way of buying time while the candidate thinks about his answer, but it’s better to just be quiet for a moment while you organize your thoughts. There’s never any need to rush in and fill a two second period of thoughtful silence.”“My biggest pet peeve is this: when I ask a candidate a simple, predictable question like ‘why should I hire you?’ or ‘Tell me about yourself,’ and the candidate responds with stunned, panicky silence like a deer in headlights. There’s no excuse for that level of naiveté and ill-preparation. Tell your readers to practice an ‘elevator pitch,’ or a five minute speech they can deliver to the interviewer whether they’ve been asked a specific question or not. I think someday HR studies will reveal that the best and most effective interviews involve a manager who just sits there and lets the candidate talk. No questions. Just a one-sided presentation.”“Please, please look up the company and explore their website before coming in for the interview. It isn’t necessary to conduct hours of research, but the candidate should at least know what the company does and the basics of the position. I’m turned off by candidates who just look at me blankly when I ask them what they know about our company.”“At the end of the interview, I’ll turn the tables and ask the candidate if he has any questions for me. I like candidates that respond with a short set of intelligent questions that I’ve never heard before. I cringe a little when candidates ask a series of fake, clichéd ‘questions’ that they were instructed to ask by a career counselor.”

Be Prepared for Anything During Your Interview

Before you arrive for your interview, practice with a friend. Research the company online. Get ready to ask the interviewer some questions of your own. And of course, take a copy of your resume with you, so your interviewer can review your profile and use it as a guide during your conversation. For writing and presentation tips that can help you showcase your best assets, visit MyPerfectResume.