I've been Business Insider's managing editor for almost four years now. Since we're a fast-growing company, we're constantly looking for new talent, from interns to site leads.
Between career fairs, coffees, and in-office interviews, I've interviewed hundreds of people.
Most candidates come prepared — but many don't.
Each one of these warnings comes from real life experiences I've had while conducting interviews at Business Insider.Donít come a half an hour early. It makes the interviewer feel pressure to finish what they're doing. Five minutes early is more than enough.
However, that doesn't mean you should be late, either. Sending an email 30 minutes after a scheduled interview to say that you haven't even left Long Island yet is not the best idea. If you are running a few minutes late, apologize when you arrive.
Don't bring your own cup of coffee or smoothie to the interview. It's not professional, and it might make the interviewer jealous they don't have one.
Don't touch your face or twirl your hair, mustache, or beard during the interview. It's disgusting and distracting.
Donít wait more than 24 hours after the interview to write a thank-you email. Be short and sweet, but specific.
Skip the "thank-you note in the snail mail" thing. It's 2014.
If the interviewer asks you to take a 10-minute writing test after your chat (or any exercise), don't decline. No matter what you have going on after, it's a red flag if you say you don't have time.
Don't talk about how successful your father is. It will make the interviewer think your father is responsible for getting you all your past jobs and internships.
Don't arrive with wet hair. Better to be five minutes late with dry hair.
Don't have disgusting breath. If you're sitting across a conference room table from your interviewer and they can smell it, that's a bad sign.
Donít say: "I still havenít figured out what I want to do yet.Ē It makes you seem lost. You have figured out what you want to do, and it's exactly what this job is.
Don't ever say: "I really want a job." You want THIS job.
If you're meeting for coffee, don't jump in and order food. Take cues from your interviewer; let them order first.
Don't mess up the most basic facts. For example, don't tell me that Business Insider is a great "magazine."
Donít ask: "What are the hours?" It makes it sound like you'll be clocking in and out. There's a better way of putting that: "What's a typical day like?"
If youíre interviewing for an editorial job, donít tell the interviewer your lifelong goal is to be a fashion designer or a golf announcer. Same goes for any job in any field.
Donít come in without spending a considerable amount of time researching the company. A smart interviewer will test your company knowledge.
Donít say: "I don't have any questions" at the end of the interview. You have to at least ask ONE question, and it should be more creative than, "What's the culture like?"
A question to avoid: "Do people in the office party together outside of work?"
And your questions shouldn't have absolutely NOTHING to do with the job, like, "What's your favorite movie?"
Donít ask if moving within the company is easy. That makes the interviewer think you're trying to get your foot in the door for another position.
Don't ask: "How soon will I be eligible for a promotion?" There's a better way of putting that: "What's the career trajectory for someone in this position?"
Don't speak poorly about a past employer or say something like, "Ugh, my old boss was the worst." That's an immediate red flag.
Here's the alternative:
8 Interview Horror Stories »
See Also:15 Things You Should Never Put On Your Resume23 Ways To Ruin Your Chances During A Job Interview15 Meaningful Jobs That Pay Really Well