Great Shot Kid, Don’t Get Cocky: Friendly Interview Etiquette
This was bound to happen eventually. You go on a job interview only to be confronted with a familiar face. Great, you might think, this should be easy. Not so fast chief. While being interviewed by someone you know may seem like the easiest way for some good old nepotism, it can often derail your chances of getting a job. How? Well, the person who is interviewing you is on the clock. While you may be coming off the street in your nice suit and tie thinking you’re going to chum it up, the interviewer has a job to do. Being too friendly can lead to a bad impression, regardless of who is sitting across the interview table from you. Here are some tips on how to stay professional during a situation like this.
Be respectful- It doesn’t matter if the person interviewing you used to hold your ankles in college during a keg stand. Those days are over with. Show respect for the authority this person has. Don’t come off too cocksure and make sure you pay enough reverence to the title. Jaybones may have had your back junior year, but his name is Jason and you need to acknowledge that.
Don’t dwell on the past too much- You’re interviewing for a job, not walking down memory lane. Sure, you can start the interview with some laughs, but make sure you get down to business. This is especially important if you and the interviewer have had some awkward moments in the past. Stay in the here and now so that this interview doesn’t devolve into an argument about who stole who’s girlfriend.
Show what you can bring to the table- It’s an interview, you’re expected to talk about what you can bring to the job place. Being friendly is fine, but don’t let it distract you from standing by your resume. Sell yourself as a good hire. You may be a great friend but the person interviewing you has to stand by their decision to hire you. They have a boss too and I’d bet they would like to look good. They may be under some scrutiny if word gets out that the two of you have a past connection. Do your friend a favor and actually take the interview seriously. It’ll benefit both you, by getting a job, and the interviewer, by keeping theirs.
Easy as that. Do you have any tips of your own? Has this happened to you before? Chime in on the comments section and share your stories.