I am frequently asked for advice from friends and colleagues who are preparing for job interviews. Preparation is the key to ensuring that you make the best use of the limited time scheduled for job interviews. Here are a few thoughts to consider. 1) First Impressions: Remember that the interview is your "first" opportunity to make a lasting positive impression. Asking personal questions, asking off-topic questions about the business...and even NOT asking questions, can be a perceived negative in the eyes of an interviewer
2) Hold off on Salary Questions: Many times, the interviewee feels that things are going so well in an interview and that asking questions about salary and benefits is appropriate. Hold off on these questions until you receive a formal offer or the hiring company initiates the conversation. Going to "$$" too early may set you up for rejection as the hiring manager may think your first / only focus is money.
3) Do not ask "How did you think I did?" while at the interview: Major pet peeve of many hiring managers is when the candidate asks "how things went" at the end of an interview. Other related questions include "Do you think I will be back for the next round?", "Anything I could have done better?", "What areas of my resume are weakest?", etc. This can put the hiring manager in an uncomfortable situation and potentially set false expectations of "hope" for a candidate that will not be invited back for Round 2.
And here are a few thoughts on follow-up post-interview.
1) Follow-up and timeliness are key: Return calls from recruiters promptly; be open, honest and up-front with expectations, background and experience. Write thank you notes after interviews and allow the process to work.
2) Again...first impressions can make or break: The right approach, communication and positioning is key to your chances of landing a position where numerous individuals are competing for the same role.