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Less-known interview tips.

08/09/17


While talking to a friend who’s setting up interview processes, we realized that there’s a lot of focus on the “big things” to get right in interviews but less on smaller/personal touches that make a difference.

The macro point here is making the process as pleasant and fun as possible. It is unnatural to sit in a room being judged by another human so anything we can do to make it easier goes a long way.

  1. Show up on time.

  2. No calls/messaging/phone usage or side-conversations during an interview unless an absolute emergency.

  3. Always ask about restroom/food/drink right at the beginning and the end.

  4. Don’t type out notes/feedback during the interview. You can remember them in your head.

  5. Don’t carry a printed version of that person’s LinkedIn profile or resume. Makes them feel judged and makes you look unprepared.

  6. Always hand them off to the next person/recruiter in person. Don’t abandon them in a room.

  7. Watch the clock - always have at least 10 minutes for questions (or better - do them in the beginning). If they don’t have questions off the top of their head, I try and prompt them with something like “Anything about what you’ve seen about Facebook/Snap/etc today surprise you?”

  8. Prep with the other interviewers to not repeat questions. Bonus points if you avoid repeating themes.

  9. Some interviewers believe in stressing interviewees to see “how they act under pressure.” I can’t disagree with this tactic enough. I find it both unprofessional and not predictive of how people really act under pressure.

  10. My personal bias is to try and make interviews symmetric - for example, if I ask someone for their background/story, I then follow up with my background/story. If I ask them how they think about a problem, I then talk about how I would think about it. It makes it more of a conversation and less Q&A.


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