As an executive with more than 20 years of experience in financial services, Pamela Lipp-Hendricks knows what it takes to impress a hiring manager during an interview.
For the past two years, she's served as head of executive talent management and diversity at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she manages a team of 18 people directly and roughly 80 people indirectly. In this role, she not only oversees talent at the senior level, but she also focuses on the company's diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure that an engaging work environment is created for all employees.
Though she's interviewed a lot of qualified candidates for her team, Lipp-Hendricks tells CNBC Make It at Fairygodboss's Galvanize event that there are three interview mistakes that will always make her think twice about hiring someone.
Like many executives, Lipp-Hendricks relies on a short list of go-to interview questions to help her decide if someone will be a good fit for her team. As someone who is interested in knowing more about a candidate than what's on their resume, she says one of the biggest interview mistakes someone can make is delivering a rehearsed or fabricated answer to one of her questions.
"Be honest," she says. "I think sometimes people are really rehearsed and you can tell they have kind of their three answers and they sort of make those fit."
Instead of quickly blurting out an overly practiced response, Lipp-Hendricks suggests candidates "listen carefully to the question that someone's asking." That way, she explains, you're able to effectively respond with an answer that truly articulates who you are as an employee.
Regardless of how qualified you look on paper, Lipp-Hendricks says failing to research a company and its team before your interview can easily be viewed as a red flag.
"Do your homework so that you at least understand a little bit about the company and who you'll be talking to," she says. "Talk to your recruiter before you go there so that you have an actual understanding of the structure of the place."
Bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch agrees. In fact, she tells CNBC Make It that one of her favorite questions to ask a potential employee is, "What did you do to prepare for this interview?"
"I had a candidate for executive assistant once who looked perfect on paper," Welch recalls. "She had great experience, plus she aced my editing test. Our conversation was going merrily along, until I popped the question. Her surprised answer: 'Um, I looked for your office on Google Maps.' That was it. That was her prep."
As a result, Welch says she passed on that candidate and instead hired someone who had read all of her books and columns, researched her professional background and drove by the office the night before to check out the parking situation.
"I was like, 'Wow, you started working on this job before you even got it,'" Welch says. "I loved her resourcefulness and grit."
Though job interviews are usually viewed as an opportunity for the hiring manager to ask questions and learn more about the candidate, Lipp-Hendricks says candidates who fail to ask their own questions are making a huge mistake.
"I find a lot of times, people who are newer to the interview process don't ask questions," she says. "Go on the internet. There are so many interesting articles about questions that you can ask. And while I don't think you have to use those questions, they could stimulate some ideas."
Lipp-Hendricks adds that asking questions will not only make the interview more of a two-way conversation, but it can also help a candidate better understand why they should or shouldn't join the team. For example, if a candidate values traveling and meeting with clients outside the office, then accepting a position that requires them to be at their desk for the majority of the day may not be a good fit.
"I might even ask them, 'What would keep you from accepting this job if you have the offer,'" she says. "That forces them to figure out what are the things they still don't know — that they need to know — in order to be able to comfortably accept the [role]."
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