What HR People Won’t Tell You About the Job Interview

HR pros reveal job interview dos and dont's.

Condensed from Reader's Digest Magazine | April 2011

8. “Make sure you’re nice to everyone, especially the admin person at the front desk. If you’re not, we’ll hear about it.” –Michael Slade, HR director at Eric Mower and Associates, a marketing communications agency

9. “We do understand that sometimes your cat really is sick, or maybe you really did have stomach problems the morning of the interview. But we probably aren’t going to believe you.”  –Rich DeMatteo, a recruiting consultant in Philadelphia

10. “Never tell us you were fired from a job. Your résumé will automatically go into the trash. In 90 percent of the cases, depending on the reference immunity laws in your state and your former company’s policy, we have no way of finding out.” –Cynthia Shapiro

11. “Know how to pronounce my name, even if you have to call and ask the receptionist before you come in.” –Senior HR executive in New York City

12. “One time I said to a candidate, ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself.’ An hour and a half later, I was afraid to ask question No. 2.” –Sharlyn Lauby

13. “How soon should you send a thank-you note? The next day seems a little desperate. Wait a week, and I’ve probably interviewed a bunch of other people and you can remind me again how great you are.” –Cynthia Shapiro

14. “When it comes to getting a job, persistence does not pay off. Checking in once or twice is fine. But if you call and call and call, you’re not going to get the job, because you’re annoying.” –HR manager at a medical-equipment sales firm

15. “Sometimes we’ll tell you we ended up hiring someone internally—even if we didn’t—just to get you off our back.” HR representative at a Fortune 500 financial-services firm

16. “If your former supervisor hated you, don’t give me his direct line for a reference. Instead, give me the number to HR. Most of us will give out only the dates of your employment and what your title was.” –HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina

17. “Yes, we do look at your credit as part of our background check. And if you’ve got a bankruptcy or if your credit score is below 650, you’ll have a hard time getting a job. [But] background checks are expensive. Sometimes we bluff, get you to fill out the form, and don’t even run it.” –Cynthia Shapiro

See also: What HR People Won’t Tell You About Salaries and Raises, What Your HR Person Won’t Tell You About Being Fired

Surprising Field Where Job Opportunities Abound

What Job Will You Be Most Successful At? Your Contribution Style Will Tell

What HR People Won’t Tell You About Salaries and Raises

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