Being impolite to the support staff – and other surprisingly common interview mistakes that can cost you the job.
Most successful professionals spend a very small percentage of their time interviewing. Because of that, it can be easy to get tripped up by simple mistakes. Whether you have an interview on the far horizon or next week’s calendar, brush up on these four mistakes that could cost you the job:
- Give a canned answer. HR managers perform interviews all day. They can spot a scripted response a mile away. While you’ll weave many of the same themes about your experience and skills into your interviews across organizations, it’s important that you are genuine and conversational. They have given you the compliment of extending an interview. Respond with mutual respect by being thoughtful and personal in your responses.
- Be impolite to the support staff. Even if you are meeting with the executive director of an institution, the way you treat each staff member matters. If you are uncourteous to the receptionist or dismissive with the parking attendant, it reflects poorly on you. Not only do you not know who might be watching today, you never know who will be interviewing you five years down the line.
- Not being timely. This can veer to either extreme. Being late for an interview is unforgivable except in the case of a dire emergency. Being too early is not only impolite, as they must be a hospitable host while they have their own work to do, it can make you appear over-eager.
- Improper follow up. For every interview you should follow up with an emailed thank you within 24 hours. Provide any additional resources requested promptly. Some individuals fall prey to following up too aggressively. While it’s essential to thank your interviewers and appropriate to touch-base with a hiring manager after a reasonable amount of time based on the hiring timeframe outlined, you do not want to be pushy or seem desperate by following up relentlessly.
With over 20 years of executive-search consulting experience, Cheryl Hyatt has been responsible for successfully recruiting senior-administrative professionals for educational and non-profit organizations. Before partnering with Dr. Fennell, she was the President and owner of The Charitable Resources Group and provided not only executive search services but fundraising consulting expertise to the clients she served. Her breadth of experience, knowledge, and contacts makes her sought after professionally in her field. Ms. Hyatt has written articles and presented to various non-profit groups. She sits on various local non-profit boards offering a variety of expertise to each organization. Hyatt-Fennell brings over 60 years of combined highly successful executive search expertise to its clients, a reputation for achieving results on the national and international level, and the ability to place top executives with higher educational institutions nationwide.