This is part two of Stephanie Lloyd's 2-piece series on what not to say or do in an interview. You can find the first five here.
6. Interviewer: "What questions do you have for me?" Candidate: "How much vacation will I get?"
Do *not* discuss salary or benefit packages, particularly during the first interview! Remain open. If you are asked what you′re looking for, it is fine to let them know what your salary and bonus structure is today. Beyond that, let them know you′d rather defer that conversation until you′ve learned more about the opportunity, and they′ve learned more about what you can bring to the company.
7. Interviewer: "Candidate flushed the toilet during the phone interview."
Phone interviews are frequently a first step in the interviewing process. Do *not* disregard the importance of this first impression! Be sure to set up a specific time in advance for the call. This will allow you to be fully prepared and avoid situations where you are unable to conduct an effective interview. Make sure your phone (especially if you are on an extension) is audible or in good working order. Avoid cell phones. Be aware of any potential distractions, i.e.; radio, television, background conversations, etc. If you have the "call waiting" feature on your phone, do not interrupt your conversation to answer a call.
8. Recruiter: "Candidate was so nervous; the poor guy asked me how my weekend was four times."
Do *not* appear nervous or desperate! A client recently told me that their top candidate for a particular position was ultimately not given the offer because he appeared so desperate during his interviews with the hiring manager.
9. Recruiter: "Candidate showed up for her 4:00 p.m. interview at 2:30."
If you have an interview scheduled for a job you really want, don′t be late. Also, do not be an hour and a half early. It′s disrespectful; recruiters and hiring managers have busy schedules just like everyone else. Be sure you know where you′re going so that you can arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. Drive to the location in advance of the interview if necessary to be sure you know exactly where you′re going. In the event that you do arrive more than ten minutes prior to your scheduled meeting time, wait in your car or find a nearby place — outside the office/waiting room — to wait.
10. Interviewer: "Candidate showed up with his mother and said she would give him an excellent reference."
No matter what, do not, I repeat, do *not* allow your parent(s) to go with you. And do not let your parents try to negotiate your offer for you! Your parents have no place in the interview process. EVER.
What would you add?
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.
Photo credit: Pieceoplastic [Flickr]