#OTR50 Day 24: Interviews

I’ve been interviewing candidates for an open post at my office. I’m continuously surprised by how many applicants fail do some of the most basic preparation and follow-up.

Here is my list of things I expect. If a candidate doesn’t do these and is in a tight race come decision time, not completing any of these checklist items could push them below the offer line.

I expect all these things even if I already knows you. Even if you are an internal candidate. Even if you are my bosses’ best friend. Show you care. Show that you respect the process.

Dress for the job. Seriously, I’m not asking for a suit and tie. I am expecting an interview to be clean, presentable, and well groomed. Have a cat or dog shedding? Throw a lint brush in your bag. Crammed lunch in between meetings? Ask the receptionist to use a restroom before they call me to tell me you have arrived.

Research the organization. Peruse the website. Read articles. Follow the information. Come prepared with questions about our business. Spend some time thinking about the job described and how it might fit into the information you cull from our public facing presence.

Take feedback well. If I see an opportunity in an interview to provide feedback on something the candidate does/says, I often snap the opportunity. Why? Because how a candidate takes feedback is critical to job performance and career growth. Don’t get defensive. Be thankful in the moment.

Write a personal follow-up and thank you note. And don’t make it a one line “Thanks for your time.” Give me something tangible. Include an item discussed in our meeting. Tell me why I should remember you. Consider attaching an example related that topic. Include links to information about you that is worth my review.

Spell my name correctly. I can’t even! It’s right there in the email address you just typed.

These are the things that move a candidate from a B+ to an A position. Don’t forget to do all of them. You never know just how many B+ candidates are in the applicant pool with you.

This felt cathartic for me to write, but none of these are new ideas. There are plenty of similar lists out in the world. I strongly recommend reading far more than just mine. Follow the Scout Motto – Be Prepared.

341 Days to go.


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