You've made it to the interview, and all that's standing between you and your dream job is the hiring manager — but winning her over may be easier said than done. So what will it take to make her like you? Well, one thing you can do is avoid annoying her. We reached out to several hiring managers who shared their biggest pet peeves on the condition of anonymity:
1. When you don't understand the company or product. There's nothing a hiring manager hates more than wasting time, and you will definitely be seen as a waste of time if you don't understand the company or the product. It'll show that you're not even doing the basic research you need for the interview. Why should they even consider you if you're not putting forward the effort? It'll seem like you don't have any passion for or interest in the company, which is one of the biggest pet peeves of any hiring manager.
2. When you don't ask questions. When you don't ask questions, it shows disinterest and lack of effort. One hiring manager tells us, "It makes me feel like they're just looking for any job. Anyone can make up good answers to an interview question, but I want to see how they think and what they care about." Need some help with this step? Check out some great questions to ask during the interview.
3. When you are too persistent. Persistence is an admirable trait, but be careful not to go overboard. "A little persistence is good — I've often given a candidate a second look after a follow-up email," says one hiring manager. "But emailing multiple times a week, stopping by the company's headquarters, and reaching out to every employee you can find on LinkedIn can seem desperate and annoying, and none of those things will get you hired."
4. When you don't follow directions. The job listing says to email and not call or maybe that a cover letter is required. Follow those instructions to the T, because if you can't follow simple directions, it's likely that your application will be ignored.
5. When you get the company's name wrong in your application materials. You'll be surprised how often candidates mess this up in their applications. If you're sending your résumé to a lot of places, you may accidentally copy and paste the wrong company name. "Nothing gets a cover letter tossed in my trash faster than seeing another publication's name in the 'to' field," says a hiring manager.
6. When you don't include links for easy reference. Hiring managers will appreciate the little details that make the process easier for them. One hiring manager advises, "If you mention your portfolio, a website, or your social media profiles, make it easy for me to view them! I want to read more about you and see what you can do, but I'm not going to spend time digging for it myself if you don't include."
7. When you don't follow up after an interview. This seems like an obvious step, but a lot of people don't follow up after an interview. At the very least, says one hiring manager, send a quick one-line thank you, although a thoughtful follow-up referencing something from your discussion is very much preferred. Here is a good template for the follow-up email.
8. When you make up an answer. You may be startled by an unexpected question, but don't resort to making up an answer. First of all, your interviewer can probably tell, and secondly, she will not be impressed. Take some time to think before crafting your answer, and read these steps on what to do when you're stumped by a question.
9. When you are too casual. You may get along with the hiring manager, but remember that you should always still be professional even if the company culture seems casual. "Keep emails professional and always include greetings and sign-offs, not just one-liners sent from your phone, and present yourself as poised and confident but not overly familiar in your interview," advises one hiring manager.
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