You think job interviews are hard when you’re trying to get a job? Try doing the interviews! We’ve got an open position that I’m responsible for and I’ve been interviewing candidates all week for it. With some good and some tiresome candidates under my belt, here are some helpful hints, should you happen to be interviewing for me anytime soon:

  • It’s okay to have a conversation in which not every sentence sells you as a potential employee. It’s akin to the old “Show, don’t tell” dictum from creative writing class.
  • When it comes time for you to ask questions at the end of the interview, it’s intended to allow you to get any further necessary information that didn’t come out in the course of the discussion. It isn’t intended for you to show off your intelligence by asking “tough” questions.
  • Offer visual aids or supplemental documents only if you can’t communicate the information in them as part of the interview. Don’t demonstrate how well-read you are by bringing reading for your interviewers.
  • You can be as prepared as is humanly possible — know your prospective employer, read up on the community, anticipate likely interview questions, research trends in your field — but that doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t answer the question. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear; tell me the answer.

I want to crawl under a rock.