I am right now in the hiring process of a new position in my team and I was shocked how easily the candidates shoot themself out of the process.

This time it was about the polite closing question section of the interview. The whole interview was running great. Good examples, good presentation. Basically the candidate I would like to hire. And then: What questions do you have to me?

Answer: "None, I have looked up your webpage and read the job description, I am fine"

Wow, this was for me so surprising again and in total contrast to the hour before. It showed me a lack of interest in the position and made me doubt about the motivation of this guy.

When I was in the interviewing process myself,  I used the interviewing series and prepared intensively. Successful. With this knowledge now in mind and being on the other side of the table, I am shocked by many candidates.

Mark, Mike, you are right. The be successful in an interview, you do not need to be perfect, the preparation using the interviewing series puts you in a position far ahead of most other candidates.

Now 2 things happend: I will have much better team members in the future and it will be more easy for me to get offers in the future.


Are there other intersting examples out there how to kick youself out of the game withing a few seconds?

JonathanGiglio's picture
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My biggest interview knockout is - negativity about previous experiences. Particularly ex-coworkers or ex-employers. It's just like gossip. If you'll say this about others to me, what will you say to others about me?

Although, I don't know if the "no additional questions" is a knockout for me. I'd like to think I'm good enough to address the major issues and it should be a compliment that your website is so well documented that the candidate felt that it sufficiently answered his question. Hopefully a better candidate came along.

The other extreme, from a friend, was this: during the hiring process, the vendor for the subcontractor was there. The candidate asked a question, can't remember specifically. Then he said - the vendor told me to ask you that. Facepalm. The bar is just a little higher than that pal, better luck next time.

mrreliable's picture

My door-slamming cues are arrogance, flippant behavior, or applicants who are certain of their ability to fix all our terrible problems. Sorry, we're looking for people who will do what we want them to do. We're not calling 911 because we have a disaster on our hands. Get in the door and earn some trust before you start lecturing us on how you can buld a better mousetrap.

The most striking example of pushing the ejection seat button was the candidate who interviewed well, then said, "I probably should disclose that I was recently released from federal prison after serving a sentence for fraud. Of course we all know these things are in the eye of the beholder. Quite frankly, I'm surprised they reinstated my license."

"It's been nice meeing you sir."

BZOpportunityManagement's picture

I will say that I, too, find it to be a negative when someone does not have a question. I have spent upwards of an hour talking to this individual about the position. In the entire conversation there was nothing that this individual questioned or wanted to know about further? While I expect a candidate to do their research on the company and position, there is no way the person has found an answer to every single question.

Many years ago, when I was first beginning my professional career, I had an interview that went quite well but where I didn't ask any questions. I got feedback through the recruiter that this was viewed as a negative. I actually made sure to add it to my internal checklist in preparing for interviews (even before MT!). I always make sure I have one or two questions ready to go and jot down any that come up during the conversation.

JonathanGiglio's picture
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I should say - all things being equal, and they never are - I prefer the inquisitive candidate. And I myself am inquisitive, so leaving the interview without asking a question is simply unlikely for me. That said, agree with Mr.Reliable's arrogance, and that a question can go too far. "Have you thought of XYZ? That's how we did it at 'Big, Fancy, Company'". Earn your stripes!

I think Manager Tools has fantastic guidance here, includiing their recent "What NOT to ask" questions.

acao162's picture

It frustrates me when a candidate has no questions.  Surely if you were interested in the job, there would be something to ask.  My own personal favorite is to ask "what would success look like in the position" or some variation.  As an interviewee, I found it really shed some light on the potential bosses too!

But, I also dislike when the candidate asks a lot of questions about vacation, beneftis, time off, hours of work, sick leave - in other words, not about the job, but about the perks.  I go through it briefly with each candidate, if you are successful, you get the details. 

My last "ejector seat" wanted to know if he really did have to start at 7:00 a.m. because he prefers to start at 5:00 a.m. (Um, yes, we start work at 7:00 with a safety meeting and no, you can't work on the job site before your crew and no, you can't start making the rest of the crew come in at 5:00)