January 23, 2015

Job Interview Deal Breakers

Kate Banahan is the associate director of career and employer development at Weatherhead's Career Management Office. Follow them on Twitter at @weatherheadcmo.

Remember the time you arrived at The Jolly Scholar after a long day just after the happy hour time ended?

This is how employers feel when candidates do not come prepared with questions to ask at the end of an interview. “It’s absolutely a decision maker,” says Julie Fratus (MBA ’07), manager of talent acquisition at Dakota Software, “If you’re really excited about something, you’re going to have questions.”

The question period at the end of an interview is a pivotal time to showcase your knowledge of the company and demonstrate you are prepared for the opportunity. Here are a few tips on making sure you are prepared with some thoughtful questions for the interviewer:

1. Ask a question highlighting the research you did on the company. (Go beyond the information on the homepage.) Don’t have time to perform in-depth analysis on the company? You can check out in-depth company profiles using the databases available through the Kelvin Smith Library in a matter of minutes. Hoovers and S&P Database are a couple of our favorite resources.

2. Be aware of what’s happening in the industry. Are you targeting jobs in the area of digital marketing? Subscribe to the Digital Marketing LinkedIn group and receive relevant news articles on what’s happening in the industry. Google Alerts is another great resource where you can target certain keywords (people, industry terms, etc.) and receive news on a daily or weekly basis.

3. Oh, me? Remember everyone loves to talk about themselves. Ask the interviewer about what they like best about working there, their biggest challenges, or how they find the culture. Look them up on LinkedIn beforehand and (tactfully) ask questions about the different roles they have held at the organization.

A few categories to avoid (or tread lightly on*) include:

1. Age
2. Religion
3. Politics
4. Salary*
5. Career Path*

Another advantage I’ve witnessed during my time in the Career Management Office is a candidate’s ability to not only follow up, but to do so within 24 hours. As relieved as you may feel at the end of an interview, come back to your senses, sit down in a quiet place, and write a thank you email. You can always come see the CMO office if you have any questions as you prepare for interviews.

PS - Add a little humor to your day and check out what you really sound like in job interviews.

1 comment:

  1. Before jumping off to your job interview, make sure you have been prepared and set for it. A job interview preparation is necessary for every applicant. There are a few things you need to consider for that big day - personal grooming, character, promptness and ethics. job interview help