As a recruiter, the objective is to find and hire top talent for your company or client. While no screening method, test or interview is perfect, there are certain behaviors that guarantee candidates will be easily eliminated from the pile.
Here are 5 things to avoid while interviewing for a new position:
1. Being Late/Not Showing Up
A “no show” will automatically dismiss you from any further consideration no matter how much you apologize. Even if you determine that this particular opportunity might not be what you’re looking for after all, not showing up at an interview may burn bridges for you in unexpected places. If you need to cancel, communicate with your interviewee well ahead of time and make sure to provide a sufficient explanation.
Being late for an interview sets a bad example for future behavior. If for some reason, you cannot avoid running late (traffic accident or other emergency), make sure to call ahead, provide an explanation and apologize once you do arrive.
2. Coming Unprepared
Interviewers are looking for someone with a keen interest in the position, so make sure you arrive at your interview prepared. This includes preparing intelligent questions and doing background research on the company as well as the position. “Winging it” shows a level of disinterest or lack of commitment that is transparent and will not warrant a follow up interview or job offer. Informed questions and enthusiasm go a long way.
3. Dressing Inappropriately
“Dress for success.” Try to get a sense of the company culture to determine what is appropriate. Not every job interview requires formal wear, however, wearing the same clothes you wore to your cousin’s beach party or your morning workout will send the wrong message.
4. Bringing a Negative Attitude
Employers are looking for candidates who will bring positive energy and attitudes to their teams and workplaces. One easy way to back yourself into a corner is by placing blame on past or current employers. Bad mouthing your former co-workers and/or boss is not a good angle to take and will leave behind a negative impression. Supervisors are not looking for employees to bring more stress and drama to their work day. Instead, focus on the positive and explain how you turned negative situations around.
5. Focusing on Salary
Trust us, we know salary is important. Everyone would like to make more money. However, if salary is your primary focus during the interview, it sends a bad message. Companies are looking for employees who believe in the mission and vision; who want to be an integral part of the culture and team. While salary is one factor, it can’t be your single focus.
While these tips may seem like common sense, you might be surprised at the number of highly educated, highly paid, highly skilled and highly experienced candidates that have eliminated themselves from an opportunity by making one of these obvious errors. Remember to be professional, but also be genuine. Good luck!
Questions? Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.