구직 인터뷰시 결코, 절대로 해서는 안 될 일들

젠체하지 말라
“모른다” 말하기를 주저말라
침착함을 잃지 말라
서둘러 포기하지 말라
질문하기를 두려워 말라
책상 위에 엎드리지 말라
바보를 자처하지 말라

이 일곱 가지 사항은 실제 인터뷰 상황들로부터 뽑은 것들이다. 황당한 부분에서 킥킥거려도 좋고 크게 소리 내어 웃어도 좋지만, 자신의 다음 번 인터뷰에서만큼은 절대로 이런 일이 없도록 하자. 한 마디 덧붙이자면, 여기에 언급된 인터뷰 대상자들 모두가 전문가라는 사실!

Darren Ashby
EE Times

Hiring time is here again, and the stack of resumes is higher than ever before. Given that, you'd think we might have more luck finding a really intelligent engineer to employ. I'm sad to report that it is not always the case. In the same vein as my previous article, ‘Avoid the Pink Slip’, and the one that Robert recently wrote, ‘The Quest for the Intelligent’, I have carefully selected seven definite no-no's, extracted from real interviews. Giggle, laugh, and snicker if you will, but please do not try this in your next interview. By the way, the persons mentioned below are professionals. :)

Don't be condescending

Be careful of how you come across to your potential employer. One candidate we interviewed seem to really disdain coming up to us for a job, it was as if he would work for us if he really had to, but he sure wasn't going to like it. The "you don't have anything to teach me vibe" was very strong. Being an engineer that believes the ratio of what we know to what we don't know is extremely small, I have a tough time with that. This is especially disconcerting when some simple circuit diagrams are requested and you get the response, "everyone knows that," a little hand waving and then nothing is written down. I immediately think you don't actually know it, and this is all an act to cover up the lack of knowledge.

Don't worry about saying, "I don't know"

The stress of an interview may make it the toughest place to say "I don't know" but that is not a bad answer. Especially if you follow up by, "I'll find out though." One of the best impressions I had from a potential employee was when he sent me an email afterward that explained the answer to one of our questions in the interview that he didn't know at the time. The fact that he looked it up showed perseverance, and a desire to learn. That alone will often times make up for a current lack in knowledge.

Don't lose your cool

One person that we interviewed was clearly thrown a bit off balance by some of the questions we asked. What really put marks in the cons column was when he got so upset trying to solve the problem that he threw down his pencil and repeatedly smacked the table. Our work environment can be much more stressful than an interview; I really didn't want to worry about someone going mental on us.

Don't give up easy

If you don't know the answer to a particular problem, try to figure it out if you can. I will often ask questions that I know the candidate won't know, just to see how he/she handles it. Someone who takes one look and walks away has never impressed me. Like my father always said, "can't is a sucker too lazy to try!" Remember while someone is standing there saying it can't be done, someone else is out there doing it.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Along with the point above, you are not expected to know it all. If a person asks a question about a particular task or problem I've given him/her in an interview, it usually shows that a person who doesn't know is willing to find out. That is a very important trait in the engineering world. Also use the interview as a chance to find out about your respective workplace.

Don't lay your head on the table

Yep, it really happened and I have witnesses to prove it. This potential employee laid his head on the table several times during the interview. I couldn't figure out if he was tired or just listening for some type of table vibration that might indicate how good the interview was going. This would never be my only reason for not hiring someone. (I get some of my best ideas in that twilight between almost asleep and almost awake.) But coupled with some other blatant problems, I just knew it wouldn't work. Let's just say this particular interviewee will have plenty of time to nap now.

Don't call yourself stupid

I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't happened to me. One applicant we had got a little flustered with a couple of basic questions, but that wasn't what did him in. The first time he said "man I am stupid," I didn't think much of it. But as the interview wore on I heard, "oh, I'm an idiot" and "I am soooo stupid" probably a dozen times or more. So by the end of the interview, I was sure of one thing. I definitely didn't want to hire an idiot, especially someone so stupid.