While I was at Canoo, I took around 100 interview calls, ranging from technical screening to behavioral & culture fit tests. I met some great candidates and some who really disappointed me. In this article, we will take a look at three of the worst things I've seen in an interview that you should avoid doing.
Let me add to it, being clueless about
- the company
- the role
- the skill set required
One gentleman I was interviewing last summer showed up at the interview without even knowing what the heck is Canoo doing. It was shocking for me because you're sitting in front of a person who probably has spent months b
How many times has it happened that you looked at the Job title and just applied straight away?
Don't lie, it happens, I know. It used to happen to me when I was starting out my career. I used to desperately apply for jobs without even checking the job description, let alone the company details.
Over the years I've realised that it's important for you to
- understand the role, most companies put a "first 90 days goal" or similar road map in their job posting which should help you understand more about the role and day-to-day working of the team.
- understand the company mission and its values you should always read up about the company you're applying to. I check the company website, most of them have an About section or Careers section which tells a lot about the company values and priorities. Some good companies even have their own blog which will give you a good insight into the company.
This goes without saying that one should behave professionally when in an interview, and if you're like me you'd be shocked to see people yawning in an interview.
Last year I talked to one person who had the camera setup below his face, giving a weird angle, and was constantly scratching his back. He was looking as if he doesn't care about the interview, no matter how good he was at coding, I didn't see my team working with someone so lazy or unprofessional.
Let's get it straight, being fun !== being unprofessional.
When I speak of professionalism, I don't mean you should be wearing a suit, but at least you shouldn't show up yawning in an interview.
No matter how much you hate this but an interviewer only has 30-40 minutes to get an impression from you. I know this sounds crazy but the 30 minutes call you get with them is your chance to show how amazing you are, how well you can communicate and express your opinions, how you present yourself and your arguments.
Always remember, you only have this one call to make a good impression because they don't know you outside of this very call. (unless you already have built a social brand for yourself)
This January I was taking a technical screening call with a candidate. She was smart and confident at the beginning of the conversation but soon that got overshadowed by how ignorant and defensive she got on feedback to her answers. This made me a little concerned about her being a team player and I asked couple more questions to see how she handles more such questions. It felt like she is ignoring my input and constantly trying to prove that she is correct.
Not just her, the person I was talking about in the last section was also somewhat like her. He didn't take the suggestions and feedback on how he could've done better. Instead, he started talking defensively, ignoring and making an annoyed face.
It's alright to be annoyed, but I think in a team you'll be annoyed at some point. We all need to learn how to handle such situations and communicate well without letting our egos take over.
Looking back, I'm sure I've made similar mistakes in the past but I was lucky enough to have more patient interviewers. I've learned my lessons and the biggest one is, to accept mistakes honestly and try to learn from them. Being humble about your mistakes will get you respect and constructive feedback.
That's it for now. I hope you find this article helpful! Should you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to put them in the comments below. For more such articles, please follow me on Twitter
Until next time
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