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Interview Don'ts

Updated on January 29, 2013

What Not to Do at Interviews - A Guide for the Savvy Interviewer

There are certain things that they do not teach you in college before you go out into the big bad world of job interviews. Yes in this day and age of multi-tasking, the untrained staff employee is often thrown into one of the three interviewer seats, not having a clue about how to conduct an interview. Do you sit down first before the boss and co-worker? Do you nod when the interviewee answers someone else's question but looks at you in the eye? Or do you look back with an unblinking stare at the poor unsteady job hunter? Do you get a jug and glass of water ready or wait to be asked by the nervous Nelly in front of you?

Here are some tips on how to be a savvy interviewer:

Be relaxed and follow the lead of your boss/supervisor. Stand when the boss and the other interviewer are standing and sit when everyone sits, preferably after greeting the interviewee. If you can, try to organise a quick discussion beforehand, on how the questions should be asked and how the turns go. Don't fumble around with your questions but practice them in front of favourite stuffed toy in the morning, if you don't have a partner or a pet.

Remember all the interview techniques you learnt for getting the job. Reverse the role but keep the steady look into the eye and the firm handshake that everyone expects of the savvy interviewer. Look gently into the eye of the interviewee without giving them an eagle eye stare. Nod in between their answers but do not act like as if you head is sitting too loosely on your neck.

Do get a jug of water and a clean glass before each interviewee comes into the room. There's nothing worse than using the same glass for each interviewee who are so grateful not to have to ask for a sip of water than they feign not to notice the lip-stick smears and sweat on the glass. Get glasses for each of the people in the interview panel. There's nothing worse than being parched and watching the candidate slurping down all that water.

Finally, prove research wrong and do not make your mind up in the first 12 seconds of meeting the interviewee. But especially,do not make your mind up about giving the job to someone you know. Unless they have given you enough chocolates for the whole year, use some restraint. Give the job to one of the perspiring, agitated candidates who have taken a whole heap of time and nervous energy prepping themsleves up for the interview.

C'mon, guys, give us a chance because we are great workers even if we are not pretentious braggarts.


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