I’ve been Business Insider’s Managing Editor for nearly a year now. A big part of my job is recruiting; since we’re a fast-growing company, we’re constantly looking for new talent, from interns to site leads.
I’ve estimated that between career fairs and in-office interviews, I’ve interviewed over 150 people. This doesn’t count phone interviews, which I usually do one or two of every day.
To be fair, most people come prepared.
I’ve been particularly impressed with the graduates of Syracuse University’s Newhouse school. They come with sharp ideas, crisp resumes, and sometimes even a folder with “Business Insider” printed on it to hold extra copies of their clips. (I’m happy to report that we have four Newhouse alums at Business Insider, all of whom were amazing hires.)
I’ve also had many disappointing interviews. There are some people who have called Business Insider a great print magazine. A couple of intern candidates have come dressed like hookers.
I’m no recruiting expert, but I’ve been taking notes during my time here and put together a list of what not to do during an interview process. Each one of these warnings comes from a real life experience I’ve had while interviewing someone for a position at Business Insider.
Don't come a half an hour early. It makes me feel pressure to finish what I'm doing. 5 minutes early is more than enough.
Don't bring your own cup of Starbucks coffee to the interview. It's not professional, and it will make me jealous that I don't have one.
Don't wait more than 24 hours after the interview to write a thank you note. It annoys me if I get it one week later. Be short and sweet, but specific.
If I ask you take a 10-minute writing test after we speak, take it. No matter what you have going on after, it's a huge red flag if you say you don't have time.
Don't talk about how successful your father is. I don't care, and it will make me think he's responsible for getting you all your past jobs and internships.
Don't have disgusting breath. If I'm sitting across a conference room table from you and can smell it, that's a bad sign.
When I ask you what websites and publications you read, don't say The New York Times. Everyone reads the New York Times. Be creative.
Don't send me a cover letter email that's more than one paragraph long. I don't want to read about your childhood. Save the details for the interview.
If you're interviewing for an editorial job, don't tell me your lifelong goal is to be a designer, or a golf announcer. Why would I hire you?
Don't ask if moving within the company is easy. That makes me think you're trying to get your foot in the door for another job, when what I care about is filling this position.
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