Perfecting the Art of the Job Interview
Ah, the job search. Endless applications, emailing resumes…it seems like a never-ending process! However, scoring an interview is just a matter of time and being patient. When you finally do get the call to come in for an interview, you need to be prepared – often you will be called in on short notice.
And who am I to give advice you ask? Well, I am currently a recruiter for a marketing company and have done full-cycle recruitment for various companies. You’d be surprised at the strange things I hear when I am interviewing potential candidates! Based on this experience, I want to offer you some of my interview “do’s and don’ts”.
Don’t # 1:
The most common mistake I find in job interviews is candidates mentioning that they applied to so many jobs that they don’t remember applying to this one. As a recruiter, the first question I usually ask is, “Have you heard of our company before?” Saying that you haven’t because you have applied to so many jobs shows me that you don’t really care about this position, so why should I even continue the interview? By then I’m already turned off.
Do your research! I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s so important and requires little time. There’s really no excuse not to. It’s a matter of Googling a company name and just remembering at least three points about the company that you can talk about. Doing your research will ensure that you appear knowledgeable and it shows that you are actually interested in the position and being a part of the company. In addition, keep track of all the jobs that you apply to. That way, you can easily refer to it when an employer calls you.
Don’t # 2:
Don’t be too honest. I’m not saying you should lie in your job interview, but when I ask a candidate, “Why are you interested in this position?” don’t reply back saying that you just need a job, you need to support your family, you need to pay your way through school. This is too much information and shows me as an employer that you are just interested in making money and not interested in the job itself.
So how should you answer that question? Start by explaining why you want that position. Maybe it fits your skill set, you feel you can excel in the job environment, you can hone your sales skills, etc. Name anything that tells me why I should hire you and why you would be good fit for the company. Remember you are trying to sell yourself and trying to show the employer that you are actually interested in the position.
Don’t dress casually. Jeans, t-shirts and running shoes are definite no-no’s. You are not going for a walk in the park, it’s a job interview! So take it seriously. First impressions are everything and dressing casually shows that you don’t care about this position and, as an employer, I wouldn’t want you to represent my company.
Dress professionally. Suit and tie for men, blazers and business pants for women. Image is everything and an appropriate business look shows that you would be a great representative of the company. Most importantly, you will be taken seriously.
My final tip: Be patient. You applied to a job and are now waiting for a call from the employer. Do not call the employer that same day to follow-up. In fact, some employers do not like phone calls at all. Be mindful of the fact that employers are very busy – think about how many resumes they receive in one day. There are many people out there in the same boat as you who are looking for work, so patience is key. Consider sending a follow-up email within a week to see if the position has been filled.
These are only a few do’s and don’ts for job interviewing. Remember, sometimes it’s just a matter of practice. The more you go to interviews, the more comfortable you get. In a matter of time, you will perfect the art of the job interview. I wish you the best of luck! Happy interviewing!