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Interview Expectations

After twenty years' experience interviewing job candidates at various companies, I've noticed a distinct shift over the last few years in how prepared (or ill-prepared) job prospects are when they arrive for an interview.  And, it's not just recent grads who could use some coaching -- there are plenty of senior-level candidates who fall in the same boat.  As a follow-up to my (still relevant!) post from back in 2006, I'd like to offer some new suggestions to those who are in job-hunt mode (whether looking to interview here at Viget or elsewhere).  

Here goes:

  1. Please acknowledge our email inviting you to come in at a specific day and time.  You'd be surprised how often we have to track someone down on this issue -- I attribute it to the excitement of getting the interview and simply overlooking the fact that you need to tell us to expect you!
  2. Arrive on time (or a few minutes early).  If you misjudge traffic and arrive super-early, sit in your car or go hang out at Starbucks down the street.  Our schedules are jammed and we don't want you getting frustrated sitting on your heels in the lobby when we aren't ready to meet with you.  And, if you're running late, please call our central number to tell us so (note: “traffic was worse than I thought it would be” isn’t really a good reason).
  3. Come prepared with copies of your resume, information on references, and something to write on.  Since any position here will require you to attend meetings, pay attention, and take notes, demonstrating your innate ability to do so during the interview will impress us!
  4. Review our web site!  Thoughtful questions about specific projects and processes or comments on blog posts will reinforce the idea that you're interested in working here.
  5. Answer the question asked.  Evasive or off-topic answers are more obvious than you think and hurt you more than you know.
  6. Turn off your cell phone.  Off.  Not turned to vibrate, unless your wife is about to give birth or a relative is on their death bed.  And, don't even THINK about wearing one of those Bluetooth earpieces during the interview (it's happened).
  7. Convince me that we would be foolish to let you slip away by articulating your skills and experience in ways relevant to our business.
  8. Dress to impress.  Yes, we have a casual-dress environment.  But, you don't work here (yet).  Demonstrate that you have the good sense to step up your attire when needed without being told to do so.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear a suit (none of us do) – just show us that you recognize that what you wear says something about you and be deliberate about it.
  9. Let me know that you're interested (if you are)!  If you’re feeling good at the end of the interview, articulate that what you've heard and learned in the interview reinforces your desire to come work for us!

I hope this helps!  Good luck!


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