I’ve been reading a series of articles based on research a colleague Katherine Hansen has been conducting with great interest. The data she gathered regarding executive interview peeves of hiring decision-makers for her upcoming book Top Notch Executive Interviews is fascinating, and I am sure the book will be an excellent resource for executive job candidates.
I find it particularly amazing that anyone would actually DO pet peeve #11: “Candidate trashes former employers.” Finger pointing, playing the victim, expressing anger or dislike of your previous employer — no matter how justified — is obviously going to be an immediate turnoff in an executive job interview! One would think that this is not rocket science, but it is apparently something of which even some very accomplished and seasoned executives seem to be unaware.
Among other turnoffs cited were lack of enthusiasm, a weak handshake, reeking of cigarettes, scripted responses that sound like they came from a book, and failure to provide good examples of skills and experience. One that is particularly disastrous for any executive candidate is inadequate knowledge of the prospective employer’s history, mission, business practices, and industry challenges.
I’ll be watching for the book to come out in October.