11 Amazingly Obvious But Overlooked Job Interviewing Tactics

The job market is tough for nearly all industries, hiring managers are time-strapped, and yet! For every great interview experience, there are 3 sub-par encounters that are usually the result of poor preparation on the candidate’s part before, during and after the interview. So before you apply for the next gig (or hire your next star), consider these job interview observations and tips:

  1. Only agree to the interview if you’re truly interested in the job
  2. Look the interviewer in the eye – but don’t stare at the interviewer (there’s a difference)
  3. Come with a list of questions – and ask them at appropriate times
  4. Show your curiosity for the company and the job
  5. Smile (except when discussing your crisis management case study)
  6. Send a separate, spell-checked thank-you note via email to everyone you interviewed with, despite their job title, and in that note include some ideas on what you would bring to the job
  7. A hand-written thank-you note is fine and retro, but you still need to send an email follow-up within 24 hours
  8. Don’t ramble –  respect the interviewer’s time constraints
  9. If the interviewer asks what your weaknesses are or what you need to improve on, always have an answer, and the answer is never “nothing” or “I can’t think of anything”
  10. Regardless of the position, you are on a sales call – sell your best attributes (bonus: acknowledge a few mistakes that strengthened your skills)
  11. If the interviewer is not selling you on the company and the job, it is likely you will not be called back

Do you have some tips and experiences to add? Please share!

– Diane Schwartz

Join Me On Twitter: @dianeschwartz

  • Margaret Pereira

    Thanks, Diane, for the common sense advice. Here’s another amazingly obvious tip: talk with your references before giving their contact information to a prospective employer! Common sense would tell us this is so obvious it’s not worth mentioning. Yet, true story: When I called a candidate’s references, one told me he would never hire this person. Of course, I followed his advice and didn’t hire the candidate!

  • Max Samuels

    I have gotten so fed up with what are your weaknesses that I now answer that I have one weakness and it is apple Pie a la mode.. Its an ice breaker…

  • dschwartz

    Thanks for chiming in and great point about references. The “weakness” question is an obvious one so it is telling that people don’t know how to answer it. However, I do like your suggestion. For me it would be ice cream sundaes.

  • Pamela Baggett

    A long time ago, a boss told me during an evaluation the my strength was also my weakness. Knowing when to put the brakes on, in other words.