What Kind of Impression Do You Leave in an Interview?

What Kind of Impression Do You Leave in an Interview?I was out with my family shopping for various items when my six-year-old son picked up a small toy fire truck and looked at it with quite a bit of interest. With the gathering of items for birthdays and Christmas being a year-round event, I take the opportunities whenever I get them.

As he went to put the toy back on the hook, I said, “Oh, let me take care of that for you.”

“OK.”

He handed it over and happily went on to look at other toys. With him seemingly engrossed, I stashed the fire truck under something else in our cart and we went on with the rest of our shopping trip. My husband took the kids to the vehicle as I checked out, and it seemed like my stealth move had been a success.

When we got home, my son rummaged around in everything we brought into the house. He frowned. “Is this all the bags we have?”

“Why, sure, honey. What else would we have?”

“The fire truck from the store. It was in our cart.”

Oh, man! I laughed that fake laugh that we parents do when we’re trying to get our kids to believe what we’re about to say. “Oh, ha ha ha! Oh, honey. You must be mistaken!”

His eyes narrowed. “No, I’m NOT mistaken,” he muttered as he turned away from me.

Do you handle the hard questions of an interview as badly as I handled my son’s inquiry?

“What’s your greatest weakness?”

“Hahaha! I am such a perfectionist!” or “Oh, hoho! I don’t have any!”

“Why are you looking to leave your current position?”

“Hohoho! It’s a great job! I’m just looking for a new challenge.”

Why should we hire you?

“I need a job and you need an employee, right? Hahaha!”

All of those responses clearly show that the candidate didn’t take the time to adequately prepare for the interview. Yes, they are tough questions, but it is possible to do some legwork before you show up at the door of a prospective employer. You can:

  • Write down potential answers for those questions
  • Rehearse in front of a mirror so you can see your body language
  • Record your responses to replay them and determine how well you come across
  • Ask a friend to do a mock interview with you and get his/her feedback
  • Videotape the mock interview to review your performance
  • Partner with a career professional

If you don’t prepare for a job interview, what do you think the interviewer is thinking when you fumble and bumble around with your answers?

“If this person couldn’t be bothered to make sure that our interaction here was a good one, what would his/her performance be like on the job?”

Do you really want to raise that doubt in an interview?

Image courtesy of Kyra Von Donaldson

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