Lindsay Olson

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Interviewing 101 for job seekers and hiring managers

A Cheating Oldie But Goodie

Photo by Jared Stein

Thanks to HR World for compiling this excellent cheat sheet of links to help the job seekers and hiring managers interview better. It doesn't mater how confident you are with your awesome interviewing skills, even the most awesome get hung up on something in an interview from time to time.

I recommend candidates also study resources applicable to hiring managers. Understanding the process from their perspective and what they are looking for will only help you to present yourself better.

Here's a brief overview of the type of information compiled in the 100 resources.

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  • Sample interview questions for candidates and good answers
  • Types of interviews
  • Tips and interview techniques for hiring managers
  • Interviewing strategies for candidates
  • How to dress
  • What not to do on an interview
  • Interview preparation steps and advice
  • After interview follow-up and thank you letters
  • Resume help

The list is extensive, so no need repeating here. Enjoy!


The Interviewing Cheat Sheet: 100 Resources for Interviewers and Candidates -

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Thank You Letter vs. Yankees


A candidate interviews for a senior level position and after several in-person interviews we get to the writing test stage. The company then calls me with an update: "Skip the writing test and cut the candidate loose. Poor writing has already been demonstrated in the follow-up thank you letter."

Wow, is it that bad? I immediately called the candidate to break the news. I hadn't seen a copy of the thank you letter at this point and so I first asked to see a copy of it. This is what I received.

"Are you sure you sent the right letter, I mean, I see you wrote 'reflect those skills necessary...' twice. And... Maybe you accidentally sent your draft?," I asked.

"No, it's impossible. This is a letter written by a career professional for me! I send this to everyone!," the candidate answered.

It wasn't an easy call. I continued to express my opinion and advised the candidate that the letter never leave that inbox again.

We nicely parted ways and a few minutes later this arrived:

Red Sox vs. Yankees. Ummm... no, I think we missed the point here.

Lessons learned

  • Always write your own content - thank you letters, writing samples, interview confirmations, resume, etc. Everything

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    . You need to know what it says because your every move is being evaluated during this interview process. Look at it once, twice, three times. Read it out loud. Even a simple spelling mistake in a follow-up note could cost you the job.

  • Always take responsibility for your actions. This person was obviously very embarrassed by the letter, but rather than reflecting on the situation and using the opportunity to fix it, the person found whatever reason to blame it on non-contributing factors.
  • Try not to take rejection personally. This one is hard, especially if you really wanted that job and it was down to the wire. Only one person gets the job and competition is fierce. If you choose to take it personally, at least don't act out on it. How one accepts criticism and rejection is a good sign of their character and nobody should burn bridges. In the PR industry, it is very likely you will run into the hiring manager or a recruiter again in your career and unprofessional behavior is something that always sticks.

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