Katharine Hansen, Creative Director of Quintessential Careers, is working on her new book to be published by Career Press later this year, “Top Notch Executive Interviews”, a follow up to her 2008 book “Top Notch Executive Resumes“.
She recently shared 10 of her 20 top executive interview pet peeves, based on her survey of hiring decision makers, in an article in the Career Management Alliance e-newsletter.
Interviewing is a delicate and highly subjective matter. An interviewee’s performance may hit home hard with one interviewer, but fall flat with another. Chemistry and rapport are often the deciding factors.
The survey indicates that decision makers agree – the following 10 interview behaviors at the senior and executive level are sure-fire ways to kill an interviewee’s chances:
1. Treating receptionist, assistant, or other lower-level staff poorly or brushing off preliminary interviews with mid-level staff.
2. Dwelling on economy-inspired negativity or how hard it is to get a job.
3. Giving long, boring, unfocused, rambling responses to interview questions.
4. Talking the strategy talk but not walking the execution walk.
5. Being arrogant and expecting to be treated differently from lower-level candidates.
6. Being inappropriately groomed or attired.
7. Telling the employer what’s wrong with his/her company.
8. Offering solutions to employer’s problems without really knowing the background.
9. Overselling oneself, exaggerating accomplishments, or underselling as a result of poor sales skills.
10. Giving oneself too much or not enough credit for team accomplishments and failing to clarify one’s role in projects.