Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ten Myths about Job Interviews

Annie Fisher has a terrific column at Fortune about the top ten myths regarding job interviews. Here is Fisher's top 10 list:

Myth #10: The interviewer is prepared.

Myth #9: Most interviewers have been trained to conduct thorough job interviews.

Myth #8: It's only polite to accept an interviewer's offer of refreshment.

Myth #7: Interviewers expect you to hand over references' contact information right away.

Myth #6: There's a right answer to every question an interviewer asks.

Myth #5: You should always keep your answers short.

Myth #4: If you've got great qualifications, your appearance doesn't matter.

Myth #3: When asked where you see yourself in five years, you should show tremendous ambition.

Myth #2: If the company invites you to an interview, that means the job is still open.

Myth #1: The most qualified person gets the job.

I especially like Myths #10 and #6. I think it's a serious mistake to assume that the interviewer is well-prepared and has spent a lengthy amount of time reviewing your cover letter and resume. A smart interviewee makes sure to highlight key aspects of their record, rather than simply presuming that the interviewer knows that already. As for Myth #6, interviewers clearly ask questions to probe the thought process of an applicant. The case interview represents the best example of that approach. In a case interview, no single right answer exists in most instances. Instead, the purpose of the case question is to develop an understanding of how an applicant approaches the problem. Moreover, many interviewees forget that they can ask questions in return during a case interview. Those questions can help to clarify the situation, access additional information, and show the type of problem-solving skills that a firm often seeks.

1 comment:

Keith B Murray said...

This is so true--and timely! I was just speaking with MBAs about this the other day. There is a misguided mystique that surrounds interviews and the interviewing process that this Top Ten starts to debunk. Thnx for a great post! Keith