Interviewing — Two don’ts during an interview

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Dec 28

In the last couple of posts, I’ve covered about ten things that you should do before an interview and during an interview.

Now for a couple of things to not do – check them out!

I’ve been interviewed for a position and I’ve been the interviewee for a position. I’ve personally experienced both of these mistakes – witnessing them as the person wanting to hire someone and once wanting to be hired.

The mistakes are simple and easy to do. Consequently, they should be easy to prevent:

  1. Never criticize your current or previous managers
  2. Never criticize your team or work in your current position

When I was interviewing for a position at a different company, I told one of my (thousands) of people interviewing me that one of the reasons I was interviewing was because my manager was over a thousand miles away and rarely talked with me about what I was working on for him. That one statement was construed as criticism of my manager (which, innocently, it was). That one statement ended up being the reason I wasn’t hired. I know this because I had someone on the inside of that company who told me that was the reason.

It was hardly a condemnation speech and it lasted less than 30-seconds in a four hour interview. It cost me a position. I probably would not even be here in Seattle-land today if I had gotten that position because the company was headquartered in Chicago-land.

Another time I was doing the interview and looking for someone to really help out in the company I was working for at the time. I was interviewing this person who was from a different company that I had previously worked for and I understood most of what was going on at the former company.

The person spent at least a half hour complaining about the previous company/department/management – but never told me why she would be of value for my work at my company. And I really wanted her to – but she didn’t get the job just because of the complaining.

The lesson is simple – never complain about your manager or your current work. There is no percentage in it. Even though one of the major motivations for looking for a new position is from poor managers and boring work.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.