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August 10, 2012


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Having been on the other side a lot (i.e. interviewing candidates a lot) I can give this list a big thumbs-up!

Very good - thanks for sharing!

I'm not sure that #10 has ever really been brought up when I've interviewed, and hope that it never does. Its fairly obvious that in person they could tell your race, sex, and age, or at least narrow them down. It would be different if it were a phone interview. But what is really scary to me is how a company might see that you having children could put a higher burden on their group health insurance or whatnot and choose not to hire you because of that. Maybe also, they would decide that anyone with kids translates into that person taking off a few more days throughout the year whether it be true or not.

I would really hope they are just wondering more out of curiosity or trying to get to know you than the other. With that said, I would never want to work for a company that asked those type questions as a screening for hiring anyway.

Following up on the last comment, I guess I would always answer #10 truthfully because those things are not really my choice anyway. I should not and will not hide those type qualities in order to get a job. Race, Sex, Age and National Origin aren't even choices anyway! As for the other two, I wouldn't get divorced or married because of a job, and you cannot un-birth children!

One thing that I believe strongly is to never forget that you are interviewing them, too. What that means is, have some relevant, thoughtful questions prepared for the interviewer. And make sure that they sell you on the job and the organization as well. You might be the right person for the job in their view, but is the job right for you? Don't go into an interview just desperate for any job. Go into the interview hoping to find that you are a match for the right job.

I always took a note pad to refer to questions I had prepared for the interview to make sure I didn't miss anything I wanted to ask. Never thought about it the way it is presented here though...

Thanks! This is a great list and perfect timing for me; next week I have my first job interview in 13 years! This is my response to your question earlier this week of what to look for from your employer when a raise isn't an option -- a new employer!

Re; #10, as an interviewer I would very rarely ask questions that fall under protected categories (e.g., national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, disabilities, race, or gender). Doing so could increase the risk of company liability in a discrimination law suit.

That said, as the interviewee, I would be weary if asked questions that fall under protected categories that don't have a direct correlation with the job requisition. For example, it would be acceptable to ask prospective employees what their Country of Citizenship is if a certain level of security clearance is required for the position.

I like that you included "perception is reality". Although you may have your answers to 'typical' interview questions all planned out in your head, one of the most important things to remember is that reading the situation and effectively communicating in a way that you believe the interviewee will respond well is key. Just because you think you are prepared enough and have all of your ducks in a row, doesn't mean you should automatically get the job. Being able to asses the situate and give proper responses in a way that the interviewee will admire is the only way to land the position.

Amen to #6 about arriving early to the location but not coming into the reception area (or wherever) until 5 minutes before your scheduled interview.

In my opinion and experience, a candidate who arrives 20 or 30 minutes early does not get bonus points for eagerness -- on the contrary, to me it's as much of an indication of mismanagement of time as arriving 5 minutes late.

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