“What is that ringtone?”
This is never a line you want to hear during an interview. While most candidates know how to interview, it is surprising how often mistakes are made on seemingly basic issues. So, here is the first in a series of tips that are sometimes overlooked but can be vital to the success of a candidate. Under the heading of our “How NOT To Interview”, otherwise known as “How to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”—read on.
Turn off that phone and iPad prior to walking in the building. Really. Even if you are on the deal of the century and you think your partner may call you non-stop. No one is indispensable. Of course, if you are in the middle of a closing or being absent will land you in hot water, reschedule the interview. The interviewers will understand. No one expects you to jeopardize your current job for an interview. But, if you have decided to show-up for the interview, you must provide your undivided attention. Put that deal out of you mind along with all other distractions. Give it your best shot. You owe that to yourself and the interviewers.
Real Life Example: We had a candidate lose an in-house position, he was dying for, at the final lunch. The lunch was proposed as a “get to know you better” – a formality. Everyone was engrossed in conversation and things were going great. The candidates phone rang. He did not take the call. He did not look at the phone. But, the fact that he forgot to turn it off was enough to sink him.
Fair or not is beside the point. These things happen and they are totally avoidable. So, while all of the above is probably obvious, whatever you do, don’t forget to turn off that phone. Do you really want a prospective employer to know that you have chosen “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie as your ringtone?