You Tried It: What not to do during an interview

Hey, Sistas! So, I’m trash and have been absent from writing my posts, but I am back like a Lebron hairline!

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With the school year starting for students all across the U.S. and abroad, I wanted to take a moment to honor my commitment to providing feedback on what NOT to do in an interview. I have sat through my fair share of professional interviews (mock and real), and sis! I could write a novel on the horrors that come from interviewing. Since the interview experience can make or break you in the applicant process, which is whack, in my opinion, but to be honest some actions during an interview are worthy of dismissal, below find 4 tips on things to consider when interviewing for that dream job.

  1. Don’t take up too much space when conducting your interview

S/O to Auntie Maxine but the interview process is not the time to be “Reclaiming Your Time”!

 

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When answering interview questions, especially within a traditional setup, make sure you are concise while also providing enough information to present yourself in the best light. As an interviewer, there is nothing more annoying than a candidate spending more than two minutes talking in circles and providing information that really has nothing to do with the question asked. Also, if you are given the opportunity to spend time with those interviewing you in a different environment such as lunch or a mixture, don’t take up too much of the conversation trying to impress and show how much you know, they’ve seen your resume, cover letter, and probably have already stalked your social media, they know you’re brilliant. Contribute to the conversation, but don’t be that person. This may differ a little when given something like the STAR method, but that’s a whole different conversation.

  1. Don’t get too comfortable

When you’re interviewing, remember you are ALWAYS ON. I once saw a candidate become a little too comfortable with the team during the initial interactions that they shared, “No more questions, I’m questioned out”. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

 

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As much as we want to think that there are times during the interviewing process that are more “informal” than others, don’t believe the hype. Remember these are humans we are dealing with and you are entering into an already established office culture. As much as they want to make sure you can do the job, they are trying to make sure you will fit into their office life as well. Getting too comfortable can cause one to appear less professional (despite how coded this is).  I’m not saying answer all of the questions like a robot or as formally as you did in the official interview portion but remember you do not have the job yet, so don’t get beside yourself. When you’re at lunch with prospective colleagues they are just that– these are not your friends, sis.

  1. Do not use the interview as a time to bring up what you think the office could be doing better (unless prompted to do so)

As a really opinionated Black woman, keeping my thoughts to myself often makes me feel some type of way. This is especially true when it is something I am passionate about (which is pretty much everything in my eyes. But then I recall an interview I sat in on where the candidate had the audacity to bring up our news letter (which had nothing to do with the question they were asked) and how “unnecessarily long” they thought it was. A candidate once shared in their interview what WE needed to do in order to improve an office service as if we asked them for their opinion about it. Y’all, I gave this candidate the infamous Shayna “you tried it” face because this person critiqued the office without knowing why it’s done this way, what was already in progress to change it, and who in the office worked on the project. Low and behold my office homegirl who actually compiles the news letter, was in the interview and did not take kindly to an outsider telling her she was not good at her job…

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It was all bad.  For some people on the hiring team, a dismissive and uninformed critical opinion was enough to remove the candidate from the applicant pool. Save your opinions about ways to enhance the job or services for AFTER you get the job.

  1. Don’t change who you are for these pilgrims

 Period.

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There’s a fine line between adapting to a work environment and becoming someone else. Figure out what that line is for you and realize this line may not be the same for everyone else in the room.

Go forth, sistas, and prosper! 😉

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