This week on The Job Interview, Two Maids & A Mop, a residential cleaning company in Alabama, is seeking a franchise operations director. It's a position that founder and CEO Ron Holt refers to as "probably the most important" hire in the company's recent history since it has a "direct impact on the satisfaction level for our franchise owners."
So it should go without saying that the wrong hire here could be very bad for business.
As Holt puts candidates to the test, he's joined by Two Maids & A Mop's first franchisee, Jaime Kulaga. Together, they're hoping to find an experienced trainer and problem solver with a flair for business communication.
To get a sense of how well these candidates fared, we checked in with CNBC career expert Suzy Welch for all the do's and don'ts on display in this episode of The Job Interview.
Takeaway 1 - Get your story straight
At one point, Holt and Kulaga asked candidates to impress them with a personal story. While Welch felt some candidates stood out because they were effortlessly able to respond, others noticeably fumbled the test.
So remember: When going into an interview, you should always be ready with the story you want to tell. The last thing you want is to make the interviewer pull it out of you.
Takeaway 2 - Never talk about money
While there were a few reasons Denise wasn't the ideal candidate for Two Maids & A Mop, her biggest mistake was something Welch calls "one of the cardinal sins of interviewing." Denise inquired about salary, which is an absolute no-no.
According to Welch, you should "never talk about money until the offer is made." Doing so is inappropriate and awkward for all parties involved.
Takeaway 3 - Find a way to connect
Speaking of awkward, Morgan, one of the job candidates, totally dropped the ball by not taking part in Holt and Kulaga's conversation about Alabama football. In interview settings, shared values matter and Welch believes that's what sets successful applicants apart.
Welch believes it's important to "seize on those opportunities for some kind of personal connection."
You need to show you can have fun at the office. You don't want to be the person who can only talk about work.
Takeaway 4 - Be Specific
Two Maids & A Mop already cleans over 100,000 homes a year and has its sights set on growing to an additional 300 markets in the next five years. Welch believes this rapid growth is worth mentioning to a prospective employer as it provides an opportunity to explain how you could help contribute to it. In her estimation, all the candidates missed the mark by not bringing it up.
That said, always remember to be specific. Generic answers will get you nowhere fast in a job interview.
Watch all new episodes of "The Job Interview" Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT