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What Is The Top Recruiter Pet Peeve (And How Can You Avoid It)?

“What makes you want to work at our company?” 
“What was a challenge you were met with and how did you approach it?” 
“Do you have any questions you would like to ask me?”
Lack of preparation to answer these deliberate interview questions is among the top corporate recruiter pet peeves. There are very specific reasons interviewers ask you these questions and how you answer them says a lot about you. Weak or incomplete answers send a negative message and leave a poor first impression.

Here are some tips to ensure you are prepared for your interview:

Research the company and its products or services. When you are asked, “What makes you want to work here?” you can bet they really just want to know if you researched the company. If possible, gain at least a high level knowledge of its mission and vision, financials, and business practices.

Research the position. Have a clear understanding of what the job entails before you interview for it. If you don’t, the hiring manager will soon realize that you either don’t know, don’t care, or aren’t qualified.

Always have questions prepared for the interviewer. At the end of the interview, ask them for more details about the position and the company. If you can’t think of any real questions, ask a great fallback question that will bring attention back to the interviewer: “What makes you enjoy working here?” 

Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more! Find a friend or family member who has a couple free hours to help you. Dress in interview attire and find quiet place out of your comfort zone (e.g. library study room) to meet. You will think and answer questions a lot differently there than sitting on your couch in your pajamas! Give the person a list of interview questions and conduct a mock interview. Have the person give you feedback and run through them again.

Other essentials for interview preparation:

Groom and dress appropriately. Although it may seem superficial, you can bet your appearance sends a strong message about your personality, confidence level, and how seriously you take the interview.

Plan to arrive a little early. When I interviewed for my first job out of college, I drove to the office the day before my interview to be sure I knew long it took to get there! Know your drive time (consider rush hour) and plan to be there 5-10 minutes early.

Bring the requested materials. Many companies mail out packets before interviewing candidates with employment applications and other forms, so it is imperative that you bring this completed paperwork in addition to requested work samples, college transcripts, references, recommendation letters, etc.
Being prepared for a job interview takes more than dressing up and arriving on time. You must be ready to provide thoughtful, smart answers to the strategic line of questioning you will receive. That takes thoughtful research, anticipationArticle Search, and a lot of practice. Don’t get caught unprepared! 

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Cathy Eng is a Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW), author, and owner of Resume Rocketeer, Inc. With corporate expertise spanning marketing, communications, operations, and human resources, Cathy boasts a distinctive talent for maximizing client experiences to create compelling and effective resumes and cover letters that consistently win interviews. An accomplished author, Cathy also holds a B.S. in Journalism. For a free resume analysis, visit

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