Jon Piggins, IT Recruiter

Jon Piggins – IT Recruiter, Sales & Marketing

Sure Fire Ways to Sabotage Your Job Interview

By Jon Piggins, Executive Recruiter, IT Sales & Marketing


You Only Get One Opportunity to Make a First Impression


Flames  (Don't)When the interviewer greets you, don’t wait awkwardly and immobile in your seat.


Bull's eye (Do)Instead:

Make a great first impression, you only get one shot at this. When you meet the interviewers or any of the staff, look the person in the eye and say hello, offer your hand and shake hands confidently.


It is respectful to stand up when someone new enters or leaves the room. Don’t take your place for granted yet, you’re just at the beginning. Be sure to maintain good posture. You don’t have to sit bolt upright, but avoid slouching and wiggling, as you will give people a negative impression.



If you are asked why you are looking for a new job …

Flames  (Don't) Don’t say: “I am ready for a change”, “I don’t get along with my boss”, “The workload where I am is too much”, “The unemployment office requires me to go on interviews”.


Bull's eye (Do)Instead:

Provide positive and proactive reasons for why you are looking for a new job. Discuss the excitement you feel around the product or technology that the company you are interviewing with is developing. Highlight the workplace environment or opportunities of the new company that motivate you.



If you are asked what made you interested in this position or this company …


Flames  (Don't) Don’t say: “I just looked at the website for a few minutes prior to coming”, “I don’t know much about it”.


Bull's eye (Do)Instead:

Show that you’ve done your homework. If the interview is worth your time, then invest the time necessary to understand the company, the industry, the players, and any exciting news about the company.


Your answer should show that you have reflected on this opportunity. Tell the interviewer why you are especially interested in this position, and how your skills and experience will bring the company value and how you feel you can make a great impact.



Dress for the part.


Flames  (Don't) Don’t show up dressed for a cocktail party or a grunge hangout when going to an interview.


Bull's eye (Do)Instead:

Even if you are going to a company with a business casual policy, or with a unique dress code, keep in mind that most interviewers dress up from the daily dress code for interviewing, and so should you! It is always better to be over dressed than under dressed.



An interview is like a dance.


Flames  (Don't) Don’t take the lead.

Bull's eye (Do)Instead:

If you think of an interview as a dance, as interviewee you take the position of follower. An adept partner dancing lead will give you the parameters (the goals of the interview, the length, the set up), but if they don’t, just follow by taking cues from the interviewer.


Never interrupt or cut off the interviewer. Provide relevant responses and stay on target. Do not turn your response into a dissertation; that would be akin to a dance solo mid-waltz. If you are unsure as to whether you need to supply more detail following your initial response, ask if the interviewer would care for you to elaborate.


If the dance naturally turns into a Lindy Hop, go with it. This back and forth interchange of following the lead, leading the dance, interspersed with short solos likely means there is a good fit.


When asked, usually towards the end of the interview, “Do you have any questions?”


Flames  (Don't) Don’t’ say: “No” or something like “Tell me about your health insurance benefit”


Bull's eye (Do)Instead:

You want to use this opportunity not only to gain insight into opportunity but also to differentiate yourself and move forward toward a job offer.


Depending on what the interview covered, you may ask what the top three accomplishments the interviewer would expect of you as a successful member of the team in the first 3 months. You could ask the interviewer how you compare to others in the interview process so far, and if there are other areas that you could expound on. You should affirm your interest and enthusiasm for the position, and ask the interviewer about the timing of the hiring process and how best to follow up.




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