When going on an interview, we feel excitement and anxiety about the possibility of securing this great job we’ve discovered. We go there filled with confidence! We know everything about everything, and there is nothing new that is going to be shown to us! We start talking to the employer and continue talking and talking and talking. We answer all of the questions with fully detailed explanations, and in some cases, more explanation than was needed. We’re feeling great! Yes, we are!
We know everything about that job, even the job of the person doing the hiring. In fact, we know it so well that we tell the person doing their job that we know how to do their job, and perhaps, better. We’ve hired and fired people and not only have we managed whole battalions of people, we run a sewing circle on Friday! We leave the interview satisfied that the employer knows how much they need us and what an asset we are to their team. It would be stupid for them not to call us… until they don’t call. Think about it! Would the employer dare to not hire you? Did you think the employer did not like you? Did you feel he/she was not interested enough in you? Could it be that they are just not smart enough to hire you? Or, maybe, could it be you? Hmmm….
There are times in an interview when we are in such a rush to let them know how fantastic we are, that we become overbearing. No one is asking you to dumb yourself down or to not tell them what you know. But when you start off telling the employer how to run their business, (that was running perfectly well before you got there, or else they would not have a place to hire you) it can rub employers the wrong way. When you come in telling the hiring manager that you are looking to move up in a company, and the only place to move up to is their position, that might seem a little bit threatening. If you have an anecdote about everything under the sun within a ten-minute interview, you may come off as annoying.
So to help you, we have come up with a check list of things that you may need to work on before you go to your interview.
- Can you go 5 sentences without using an “I” statement?
- Do you correct the employer about their business policy?
- Do you not read instructions on your job application because you already know what to do?
- Do you talk about the incompetence of your last employer and/or staff?
- Do you show up unannounced to see the hiring manager?
- Do you respect boundaries?
- Do you go into interviews unprepared, because you know everything about this company that you’ve never been to, and never worked for, and never researched?
- Do you monopolize the time of a recruiter knowing they have other people to talk to?
- Do you call to get specifics on things that you could research yourself?
- Do you go through private information?
- Can you take polite hints?
- Do you not allow another person to finish their thought before jumping in?
- Do you have demands even though you don’t have the job yet?
- Are you only focused on the salary of the job that you’re interviewing for?
- Do you leave multiple messages when you follow up (like a bill collector)?
- Do you feel that you have paid your dues… at a company you have never worked for, never been to, and knew nothing about until the job became available?
- Are you rude to random people coming in and going out of the office?
If you find yourself doing any of these things, scale back a little bit. There is nothing wrong with being smart or enthusiastic, but no one likes a know-it-all.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of the work that you have done, but you need to give the employer time to get to know you. Don’t project an aura of “they need me,” and not the other way around. You may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you annoy the employer and you haven’t even gotten out of the interview, they are just going to leave you on the shelf for the next unfortunate employer to do the same thing.
Most of the above problems come from insecurity. When you are not confident in yourself, you over compensate by doing projecting habits that could be misconstrued as annoying. If you find yourself doing any of the above things, it helps to take a step back and listen, instead of talking. Sometimes your actions speak 8 times more loudly than your words ever could.
Here are some ways to combat being annoying:
- Dress appropriately for the interview
- Bring your resume and be prepared to answer direct questions
- Do some research on the company where you are applying
- Do not go in there with any expectations other than having a great interview
- Do not correct the employer during the interview
- Be polite to everyone
- Smile (again)
- Do not use the word “uh, um, like” every time you answer questions
- Respect boundaries of those around you and the office that you are in
- Watch for body language; someone may be trying to tell you something
- Understand a new job means new challenges
- If the employer is busy, don’t monopolize their time with inane questions
- Be classy when talking about your last employer, even if you left on not-so-great terms
- Take a deep breath; you are going to do fine
Good luck on your next interview! △