How to Be Really Bad at Interviewing

How to Be Really Bad at Interviewing Graphic

John Freshwater, Director of Onboarding, shares some wisdom on what not to do during your N2 interview.

If you're looking for interview tips in all the wrong places, search no longer. John Freshwater, Director of Onboarding at N2 is here with the top five offenders for your upcoming interview.

1. Interrupt the interview process by asking a million questions.

“Hey, I’m interviewing your company, too, you know!”

Constantly interrupting an interview can be detrimental to you. And it might not be why you think. Do Talent Acquisition Specialists (TAS) get offended when you interrupt them? Chances are they have cold-calling experience and pretty thick skin, so no. Does it derail the interview process and make it harder to determine if you’re a good fit for the role? Nope! That’s not a concern either.

Failing to adhere to a simple interview process is a big red flag for a TAS. Now they are thinking, “Is this person coachable? Will they be able to follow our processes and guidelines? Surely they don’t know how to listen and will be a pushy salesperson. Are they rude? Do they lack self-awareness?”

Listen, I get it, sometimes the questions can feel a little trivial, but candidates with good attitudes will honor the interview process no matter what. That’s the type of person I want to work with.

2. Bring up your divorce (or a bad breakup, or your lazy children).

By the way, no judgement here, but we have an old saying in talent acquisition: “Not everyone has been divorced, but if they have, they will tell you about it.”

You’d be surprised how many interviews are going along just fine and then a candidate shares something super personal and not relevant to their professional story. It’s just awkward. There’s a time and a place for those conversations, but this isn’t it. We would never reject someone for those personal reasons, but the lack of discernment in a situation doesn’t bode well for how you might interact with clients in the future. We’ll have to assume you may be a compulsive oversharer and wouldn’t represent our company in a professional manner.

3. Undersell or oversell yourself.

This may sound like we’re asking too much, but it’s really pretty simple. When you are too casual about your experience and abilities, we assume you’re not really interested in the role. Even if you’re a perfect fit, you’re going to end up being less desirable than someone who clearly “wants it.”

But overselling is worse (especially if you’re interviewing for a sales role). It actually comes across as a lack of confidence – like you don’t believe your experience or abilities are enough to speak for themselves, so you feel the need to overcompensate.

4. Schedule an interview and then ghost us.

This is the cardinal sin of Talent Acquisition. Our hatred runs deep for candidates who are no-shows. Your only hope is making up a very convincing story. Extra points if it’s an excuse we’ve never heard before.

5. Cook dinner during the interview.

Or…. drive your car walk outside talk to people in the background welcome the plumber for his service call have dogs yapping answer an incoming call

We’ve heard it all (and these are the tame ones!). Just be in a quiet place and treat this call like it’s important to you. We’re assuming you’re putting your best foot forward for an interview, and if you don’t, we can’t take you seriously.

Bonus: Zoom calls

  • The good: Clean-looking home office setup, professional appearance
  • The bad: Upright phone, bad internet connection, trouble setting up audio
  • The ugly: Cluttered house
  • Neutral: Green screens / virtual backgrounds

Now that you’re an expert on how to ace the N2 Area Director interview, click here if you think you’ll be a good fit for this sales role. One of our TAS will reach out. Our advice? Be genuine and we’ll advise you if it’s a good fit or not. There’s really no pressure!