Information Hub‎ > ‎TIPS‎ > ‎Interviews‎ > ‎


Updated 09/03/2016
  You have made it to the Interviews!
  And now you are under the spotlights,
  people diving into your background, the
  skills, insights, behavioral questions,
  questions that don't make any sense, 
  and the interview pressure is up high.

  Many mistakes are made in the process
  of Interviewing.  This section is to help
  you identify your potential exposures
  and to fortify them before it all begins.

  No matter how experienced you are or believe you are, you will forget to say, do, or
  NOT say or do things and yet there is a good chance you will have done well anyway.

  But before we get into the meat of this, let's talk about possibly the #1 complaint
  people have:  arriving TOO EARLY!

  We know there are many variables that can delay you including weather, wrecks or the
  ever popular road construction started early that morning.  And you never want to be a
  late arrival.  So here is how to play this:

        Drive to the location the same time the day before and look for indiccations of
        pending traffic impacts such as barrels or road building equipment by the road.
        You can estimate travel time and allocate extra time for likely delays.  If a Guard
        Shack exists, you will need to be cleared for access so add in that time.  Ask where
        you should park you car as this may be a test they put you through, following a
        simple direction from an unknown person.  It may also keep you from being towed
        or your car accidently being sprayed.  Sometimes Receptionists are asked for their
        feedback on your professional conduct and how they were personally treated.
        It never hurts to be polite and professional to strangers, especially Receptionists
        and Secretaries!

        If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, stay in your car.  Receiptionists are very
        good about announcing you even with your request not to do it yet.  Plan to spend
        some time in the restroom to check your clothing, hair, teeth.  Insure you have
        everything needed for the interview.  
Also use this to become calm and collected so
first impression you give is not that of a nervous
 high strung person.

        Receptionists typically call the Manager who so often is in an interview with another
        candidate.  Ask to be announced 5 minutes before you are due.  While having the
        interruption could be a problem for your competitor, the Manager may see you as
        the problem.


       Percentage of hiring managers who know whether or not they would hire
       someone within the first 90 seconds.









It is amazing how so many people make these mistakes and never remember doing
them after mock interviews.  But they are there, captured on video and witnessed by all others in the room.   According to Classes and Careers & HireWatch in late 2013 plus additional sources, here are the Top 16 items they reported as non-verbal mistakes ... and most to all are very preventable.

  1.  Answering a Phone Call / Text / e-Mail: 71%
       Disrespect for the interviewer, the process and the position.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  2.  Appearing Disinterested: 69%
       Disrespect for the interviewer, the process and the position.
May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  3.  Wearing the Wrong Attire / Offsensive Body Odor: 69%
Disrespect for the interviewer, the process and the position.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  4.  Lack of Eye Contact:  67%
       Strong eye contact can make or break your chances of winning the job.  People
       can read emotions from eye slits, explaining why some wear dark or mirrored
       glasses to hide their emotions during interviews, negotiations and the like.
       You need to present yourself as open and honest during the interview.  Failure
       to do so raises unwanted questions.

  5.  Appearing Arrogant: 66%
       Disrespect for the interviewer and the process.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

6.  Negative Remarks about Previous Job:  63%
       Potential to present negative remarks for this position when they depart.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

7.  Talking While Chewing Gum: 59%
       Disrespect for the interviewer and challenging to understand.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  8.  Not Knowing Enough About the Company: 47%
       Surveys suggest only 10% of interview candidates even look at the company
       web site.  A public company is required to make considerable information on
       the company available to the general public and investors.  Yet people enter an
       interview not knowing what the primary product or service is of the company.
       Watching business news services and the local news can often provide you
       with insight that employees may be unaware of, making you look like an

  9.  Not Smiling: 38%
       You are a selected candidate for a job you are supposed to be interested in
       getting.  So why are you not smiling?  You are confusing the interviewer at
       best and scaring them at worst.  The lack of a smile raises questions about
       your confidence.  Avoid the "false smile" for the negatives it projects.

10.  Poor Posture: 33%
       Suggests you may be lazy or disrespectful.  Reclining may suggest you are
       bored or cocky.  Slouching suggests nervousness.  If you shift from one
       position to another it suggests you are uncomfortable.  Try relaxing against
       the chair, feet firmly on the floor and engage your core. 

11.  Fidgeting:  33%
       Most often a sign of displacement or substituting for another emotion that the
       person is having and unable to express directly.  If could be excessive energy
       or other factors.

 12.  Unusual Handshake:  26%
       In business there is one handshake:  palms face each other, thumb goes over
       the hand of the other person, a firm but not crushing grip, arms move the
       hand slightly up and down a few times, then release.  One hand should not
       ever be above the other to any degree; this is known as "over reaching" and
       has been a power-play for centuries.  Don't you do it; don't let the interviewer
       do it.  Avoid any "secret handshakes" for an interview.

13.  Playing with Hair:  21%
       Playing, twirling, fiddling and hair pulling can be indicative with a number of
       behaviors and emotions.  Women who twirl their hair while talking to someone
       may have an attaction to the speaker as a flirtatious and preening behavior.  It
       can signify anxiety, incompetence, uncertainty or shyness.  It may also be a
       matter linked to genetics, anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsion
       disorder most commonly through to be a stress-related condition.
Arms Cross Over Chest:  21%
rossing the arms across the chest is a classic gesture of defensiveness.  This
       defensiveness can manifest as uneasiness, shyness or insecurity.  When a
       person feels threatened by a situation they cross their amrs across their chest
       crating a defensive barrier protecting vital organs.  Sometimes arms-crossing
       is in combination with legs-crossing.

Excessive use of Hand Gestures:  9%
            Suggests indifference leaving your audience feeling you do not care about
            what is being talked about.

       b)  HIDDEN HANDS
            Makes it hard to determine if you are trustworthy

            You are being open and honest

            You are certain about what you are talking about

            Indicates you have expertise about what you are talking about

            You are nervous or tentative as does touching your face, hair, or neck

            Communicates a large idea or concept.  Done too much raises questions
you may be chaotic or out of control.
 16.  Bright Colors and Odd Attire
        Conservative business attire is best for men or women.  First impressions are
        crucial especially for important interviews of any type.  Dress sharply and do
        not forget hair, appropriate cosmetics, fingernails, eye brows, eye lashes,
        face and shoes.

The following are not raked in any percentage but are observed and damaging:

   1.  Hugging
          Minimal contact through a hearty business handshake.  No one wants to be made

   2.  No "Trash" or "Bashing" Talk
          Never talk poorly about a company, an organization, a group, or a person.  If you must say
          something negative, show how you turned it around over a 
period of time ... always show the
          positive outcome.

   3.  Cell Phone
          Unless you have a pending emergency, turn it off.  If you have a pending emergency, let the
          panel know and indicate you have people who are working to resolve this without your
          involvement.  Bringing this up will be a surprise but it shows honest and interest in the job.
          Having a cell phone ring during an interview is a distraction showing 
disrespect for the
          interviewer and to the company.  No calls, no 
texts, no e-mails ... turn it off.  Check it after the

   4.  Lying
          Promoting your skills is one thing.  NEVER lie about about skills or anything else.  If hired and
          discovered, at a minimum your integrity is destroyed.  You 
may be terminated for your
          untruthful statements or terminated for lacking the level of skill you represented raising
          questions of competency or ability.

   5.  Being Emotional
          Show interviewers you have sufficient self control to handle any situation like a true
          professional.  No matter what happens, control your emotions.

   6.  Self-Sabatoge
          Do not undersell yourself.  Enter the interview with the mindset you are both qualified and
          capable of doing a great job for the employer.  Nothing less.

   7.  Do not be the Know-It-All
          No one likes someone who acts like they know everything.  It is annoying and leaves the Knot-
          It-All as a person extremely hard to work with.

   8.  A "Yes Man"
          No one "knows it all" and no one can "do everything".
   9.  No Agenda
          Part of the interview is YOU asking the INTERVIEWER questions.  Ask about the job, the culture, if           they ever thought of leaving and why, what attracted them to the company, what type of work
          would you be involved with, etc.  All show interest in the company and can avoid the most
          common reasons people resign:  the company culture and their manager.

 10.  Talking too much
          Going into great length answering your question can hurt you from being too talkative and
          reduce your time to ask questions.  You loose on both counts.

 11.  Not being engaged
          Be interactive and engaging with the interviewer(s) to project yourself as being an interesting
          qualified candidate who communicates well.

 12.  Lack of questions
          This includes No Agenda above.  NEVER leave an interview without having asked some
          meaningful questions to show interest in the position and with the company.

 13.  Passion
          People who have passion for their work do better and stay longer.  If you are a "fake it until you
          make it" person, you will learn passion cannot be faked.  Passion is too easy to detect from
          bodily changes as you talk of your passion.

Sudden Minor Illness
          If you come down with something, bring a handkerchief should you sneeze to show your
          personal hygiene and respect for their health.  Indicate you know 
the cause, and why it may
          impact your performance, they are at no risk of catching anything from you and the interview
          was very important to you.  If they want to shake hands after the meeting, that is their informed
         Discussing anything that may change the clarity or volume of your voice, or "fog" your mind from
         medications should be brought to their attention at the start of the interview.  This allows them
         to dispel it versus wondering over the course of the interview if this is the way you always are.

 15.  Being Angry
          Angry people may frighten co-workers and/or customers or clients.  They may abuse people
          and/or equipment.  Obligation to remove them from consideration.  Human Resources should
          be informed of the anger.

 16.  Sharing Too Much Information (TMI)
          Sometimes,people have a whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mindset in a job interview so
          everything is put "on the table" for every question.  This is 
neither smart, helpful or productive.
          Avoid taking the award for the most 
boring interview.

 17.  Flirting, Bribery, or other Unprofessional Conduct
          Not the time, place, or conduct for a job interview.  Guaranteed rejection of the candidate to
          avoid problems starting that hour.  Incident may be reported to Human Resources and
          potentially Legal should complaints be leveled.

 18.  Do not request or collect Contact Information or ask Next Steps
          Lack of interest or knowledge of the interviewing process.  The Candidate should have
          exchanged Business Cards with everyone at the start of the session and asked about Next Steps
          before leaving the interview.

 19.  No Follow-up
        Candidate should have sent a hand-written thank you card to each person in the interview
          ideally that same day and checked the spelling of each name and every word.  Fail to follow-up
          suggests lack of interest.

 20.  Stupid Interviewee Statements
        a)  I'm Not Good at Working With People
             Great way to end a conversation with, especially early on.

        b)  I'm So OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) 
             Trivializes a medical disorder that impacts millions of people.  This becomes an offensive
                and hurtful statement disqualifying the person.

        c)  What About Vacation?
             A good way to find you won't be receiving any from this employer.

        d)  Leaving My Job Because The Company Is Toxic
             Never go negative on a manager, colleague or company.  Waive Bye Bye
        e)  Not Excited About the Position
             If this job was your stepping stone into the company, you're toast.

        f)  I Don't Have Any Questions For You
            Says no research was done on the company.  No interest ... no opportunity.

 21.  No Company Research
        People are often proud of their company and you should share in that pride if you want to work
          there.  Do you research before coming to the interview



    3 Big Mistakes Most Age 50+ Jobseekers Make That Keep You From Getting A Call
       |  Linkedin, Jewel Bracy DeMaio                                                                                                                                            04/26/2017
     It seems like HR actually exists to complicate the job hiring process: you have to meet
     some extensive list of requirements, the salary is ridiculously low, and no one responds
     to you. Even though you’re experienced, it’s like companies hold that against you, assuming
     you want higher pay, and ignoring the likelihood that you have greater knowledge and a
     stronger work ethic. You just don't get a call back most of the time.

    30 Bad Answers to Job Interview Questions  |, Susan P Joyce  
Being unprepared for a job interview is usually the kiss-of-death for that opportunity.
     Some of these answers are funny (unless the job seeker really wanted the job), and some of
     them are a little scary. Best to be prepared and avoid giving these answers in job interviews,
     assuming you are hoping for a job offer!

    45 Questions You Should NOT Ask in a Job Interview  |, Susan P Joyce  
When an interviewer asks you if you have any questions during a job interview, this is your
     opportunity to do three important things:
Collect information about the job and the employer that is important to you -- the
            things that will help you determine whether or not you will accept a job offer (if one is given).
       2.  Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have done some research about them --
            that you are actually interested in the job, not just wasting time.
       3.  Demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job and for the organization and would be
            an asset, if they can convince you to accept a job offer.

    After the Interview: Avoid These Common Mistakes in Your Follow-up

    How to Handle Telephone Interviews

    How to Handle Lunch Interviews

    How to Handle ONE-Way Video Interviews

    How to Handle TWO-Way Video and Video Conferencing Interviews

    Hot to Handle Audition or Group Interviews

    How to Handle Speed Interviews

    How to Handle Case Method / Fishbowl Interviews

    Job Interview Mistakes - Fortune Dec 2016

    Success in a Fortune 500 Behavioral Interview  |, Rich DeMatteo
     If you’ve ever interviewed with a Fortune 500 Company, you may have already experienced
     a Behavioral Interview. The questions start with "Tell me about a time when..." They can be
     deadly if you aren't prepared.
     Behavioral Interviews (BI) have been increasing in popularity with HR professionals and
     recruiters over the last 10 or 15 years. They are generally seen as one of -- if not the most
     -- effective kind of job interview, from the employer's perspective. BI provides the employer
     with more insight beyond the typical factual questions traditionally asked.
     Like all interviewing styles and methodologies, BI aims to understand how a candidate will
     perform if hired for the job.


In an interview many questions, including weird ones, may come your way.
Look at the material within The CT Groups web site on questions and spend time
on questions that are:
  -  Behavioral (Tell me about a time when you ...)
  -  Tell me about your worst ...
  -  Tell me about your assignments
  -  What have you enjoyed work on and what did you not enjoy?