Ever wonder why you didn’t get a call back from that recruiter or HR manager, when you thought you had the interview in the bag?
Sometimes the reasons are beyond your control, however, there are times when the outcome is a direct result of your actions. So, to be sure that you’re putting your best foot forward, here are a few things to be mindful of during the interview/application process.
We’re all unique and want to stand out and we’ve all heard the saying “if they don’t like me for who I am, then I don’t want to work there.” That’s all well and good, but be sure that your appearance doesn’t distract the interviewer from getting to know the real you. Things like wearing too much cologne or perfume, cigarette smoke odor and stained or ill-fitting clothing can pull the interviewer’s focus and draw attention away from how well you’re answering the questions.
This is not dating in your twenties. Being hard to get a hold of doesn’t make you more attractive. When you regularly answer phone calls, respond to emails in a timely manner and/or return documentation to a hiring manager, you are viewed as a serious candidate who is making their job search a daily priority. Time is of the essence so be sure you don’t let your busy schedule be misconstrued as lack of interest.
Sometimes it is necessary to bring up more sensitive points in your life when describing gaps in employment or a job change, but these situations should be explained to an interviewer in a clear-cut and unemotional manner. The same goes for difficult circumstances at work- like having a verbally abusive boss or being fired unexpectedly. It is appropriate to express conditions that affected your professional life, but showing strong emotions like anger, sadness, depression or anxiety send red flags to an interviewer and might indicate that you may not be able to stay professional and maintain your responsibilities during times of stress. Practice talking about any uncomfortable situations that may come up in an interview with a friend to make sure you maintain your composure and control under the expected pressure of an interview.
Whether you are a director or entry-level candidate, always make sure your written and verbal communication is polished. You won’t always know when a potential employer is going to call you so if you’re caught in a noisy location, don’t hesitate to offer to set up another time when you have privacy and can be focused. Additionally, be sure your emails would pass in a high school English class. Auto-correct and spell-check make it all too tempting to respond from a mobile device while on the run. You must give your written communications time and focus and perhaps ask a friend to proof. Otherwise you may accidentally send a note that says, “thank you again from your time.” And when attention to detail is part of your job, this could make a case for going with another candidate.
Understand Your Recruiter Relationship:
Although you may think “she’s just the recruiter”, be mindful that recruiters have to assess everything candidates do. Remember we represent you and you represent our belief that you are a great match for our client. This relationship is a two way street. The interviewing process is a very delicate time, so as a candidate it is important to always do your research and stay on top of the process. A recruiter will often become a trusted guide and sometimes have to offer unpleasant feedback. While it’s not always easy to hear criticism, don’t get defensive. We’re here to help so any advice, like the advice in this article, is in your best interest and is only offered to help you get the job you want!
For more interview tips and job search advice, check out our Job Junction.