Are Interview Mistakes Holding You Back

Interviewing is an art, not a science. However, there are ways to help you have greater control over the
process, whether you are early in your career or a senior professional.

Know Your Resume

A surprising number of candidates do not know what information is on their resumes. While it is not
hard to remember descriptions of your current role, jobs from 3-10 years ago or more may prove to be
more of a challenge. Before going to any interview, be sure to review the document and refresh your
memory on transactions and anecdotes. What went right? What went wrong? What was the
takeaway from the experience?

Maintain a Professional Demeanor

Over Zoom, dress neatly and have the proper lighting. Find a quiet, relatively private place so that you
do not look nervous or uncomfortable. If you need to leave your office to achieve that, do so.

In person, sit confidently without slouching and be sure to make eye contact. Try to keep nervous tics
under control, but not if that control will undermine your confidence.

Speak clearly and at a pace that will allow the interviewer to understand what you are saying. This is
particularly important on Zoom or over the phone.

Do not badmouth your current or most recent employer. It will backfire on you because it is widely
considered to be bad judgment to speak poorly of past employers.

Do not get too casual. We have a client who charms everyone he speaks with. During his interviews,
candidates sometimes let down their guard and become too informal. That tends to lead to a
disappointing outcome.

Prepare For Likely Questions

Why are you looking for a new role? If you have been laid off, say so. The interviewer will find out. Were
you fired? Make sure you understand why, so that you can demonstrate why things will be different
next time. Not everyone is a fit for every organization and getting fired may reflect a poor fit rather than
a lack of ability.

Think about the interests of each interviewer in a process. Senior people want to know if they can rely
on you to do your work quickly and accurately. Peers want to know that you will be an effective partner
for them and make their work lives easier or at least no more difficult. Junior people want to know that
they can learn from you without fear that you will be a jerk. Prepare answers that will give each of them

Research The Company And The Role

If you are working with a recruiter, they should be able to prepare you with information on the firm’s
business and culture. The recruiter should be able to explain the role and what to expect during the
interview. We prepare every candidate for every interview and try to provide insights into firm culture,
individual personalities, and how the client is running their process.

Go into the interview with questions whose answers will offer additional color that recruiters often
don’t have. A lack of astute questions can make candidates look disinterested, lazy, or worse.

Good luck with your next interview!