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Ten Things to Not Say or Do in an Interview by Stephanie Lloyd

262 out of 366 - I say NO!
Stephanie Lloyd is a Recruiter and the Principal of the Calibre Search Group in Atlanta, Georgia. She has more than 15 years experience in financial services recruiting and sourcing and started her own firm in 2006.

In this two-part guest series, Stephanie gives us some humorous examples of what NOT to say in an interview and why.

1.    Interviewer: "Why did you leave your last job?" Candidate: "I was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches."

Do *not* say anything even remotely negative. This includes past employers! You even enjoyed the drive to the interview"¦no matter how long you were stuck in traffic.

2.    Interviewer: "Why are you interested in this position with our company?" Candidate: "I need money. I want to have a life, party, give my wife expensive gifts, and eat something besides soup."

Do *not* take the interview for granted! The interview process is your opportunity to sell yourself for the position, as well as to learn more it. Be fully prepared with your notes with regard to: 1) the company, 2) the position, and 3) yourself (resume).  You then are able to come across as organized and articulate. Use specific examples when answering questions; stress your achievements, records and accomplishments.

3.    Interviewer: "What questions do you have for me?" Candidate: "Hey, did you catch that Braves game last night?"

Do *not* show up to the interview unprepared to ask good questions. Who′s been successful and why? Why is the position open? Who does the position report to; who does it supervise?  What needs to be done in the first six months; the first year? Are there any major challenges that need to be addressed immediately? Tell me about the history of growth of the company. What is your highest priority in the next six months, and how could someone like me help? What are the characteristics of your top people? What are your personal satisfactions and disappointments since you have been with the firm?

4.    HR Professional: "Candidate (falsely) claimed to have been a professional baseball player."

Do *not* lie about your salary"¦or your education"¦or your employment or criminal history. These things can be and are checked!
5.    Hiring Manager: "Candidate wore turban, one-shouldered top, & sandals. When asked if appropriately dressed she said, "Don′t you think I look pretty?"

Do *not* dress inappropriately for the interview. What you wear has an impact on the first impression you make and significant influence on the entire interview. A decision is made about whether you may be the right person for the job in the first five minutes, and the hiring manager spends the next half-hour trying to defend that decision. If you can, prior to the interview find out what the company′s dress code is, and dress better than suggested. Most times, it's best to wear a suit, particularly when it′s a first interview. Conservative is still the rule of thumb for interviews.

Come back later this week to see Stephanie's remaining five things not to say or do in an interview.

You can find Stephanie on Twitter at @atlrecruiter, on LinkedIN, or on the Calibre Search Group website.

Photo credit: Tyla'75' The Painted Veil download [Flickr]
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