Admit it. You’d like to sit down for a private chat with someone in HR,…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Whether you’re interviewing by your own choice, or because you found that the music stopped and you didn’t have a chair to sit in, it’s critical to be attentive to the impression you’re making. A good interview can result in a higher offer. A poor one can cost you the job.
For this conversation we reached out to an HR professional in a highly-respected BV boutique. The confidentiality of our interviewee is important to the candor of the answers you will read. Send in your questions for our next HR Insider.
Q: When you’re interviewing, what are the “fundamentals” which, when they’re violated, become deal-killers?
A: I guess a big one for me would be when the candidate hasn’t taken time to research either the company or the position. When it comes time in the interview for the candidate to ask questions and he or she doesn’t have much to say, that can be the candidate’s downfall. And, in the end, it makes me question if they are truly interested in the position.
Q: What can a candidate do to be noticed in the roar of the crowd?
A: When it comes to a resume, it’s helpful to have your resume concise and specific so that the reader can quickly get an understanding of your experience, education, etc. It is really helpful when you do not have to spend time searching for items. During the interview, itself, a key, again, is being prepared. That could range from dressing professionally to doing research on the company that you’re interviewing with. Having questions to ask and showing enthusiasm is important.
Q: Where is it that candidates cross the line from confident to cocky?
A: That’s tough to answer because everyone has a personal gauge on that. There can be a very fine line between confidence and cockiness. For me, it can be going “over the top” during an interview conversation; throwing in comments/information that are out of place in the context of the discussion. It’s important to have a good sense of timeliness about when to interject comments/information that can sell your skills and experience.
Q: What are the questions you hear that tell you this is an above-average candidate?
A: One thing that impresses me is when the candidate is clearly interested in the position, or role, and is asking questions geared towards long-term potential, fit, and also articulating how they can add value to the firm.
Q: What sort of post-interview follow-up gets your attention? When does it become offensive?
A: I can’t say that I’ve had any situations where anyone has been over the line. Most of the ones I’ve seen are very professional. A general thank-you, whether it’s an email or a note card, is appreciated. The best ones include some mention of something in the interview that intrigued them or that was a special part of the interview.