With the economy in recession and jobs harder to come by, it can take months to get an interview, but only a few seconds to mess it up. Candidates can blow it for themselves in many ways according to a recent poll by the US Society for Human Resource Management. According to the survey:
- 67% of hiring managers believe that dressing inappropriately showed a lack of respect for the job, and a lack of research of the employer
- 58% agreed that resume typos and grammar errors were warning signs of general carelessness and lack of attention to detail
- 58% of those surveyed thought that showing up late for an interview is a red flag that you are not concerned enough about the job to get there on time
- 49% agree that speaking ill of a former boss raises questions about trust and poor emotional intelligence.
The following are some tips of how to be successful in the interview process:
Before the Interview
- Practice interview skills with others. Rehearse your attributes and skills in front of the mirror
- Research the company and the position you are applying for. Approximately 25% of hiring Managers use the internet to research candidates before inviting them for an interview.
- Pay extra attention to grooming and presentation. Dressing appropriately for a role one level up from the job you are applying for is a smart rule. Dress for Success.
- Plan how you are going to get there. Allow more time than you would expect to get to the meeting. Call immediately if it looks like there will be a delay and make apologies
- Arrive 5-10 minutes ahead of your appointment
During the Interview
- Greet the interviewer(s), firmly shake hands and introduce your self
- Sit down only once you have been invited to do so
- Be attentive to body language and posture. Maintain an open posture and use eye contact when answering questions.
- If you are asked questions about your previous employer, focus on the positive and find something nice to say – remember the interview is about you and your past performance
- Wait for the employer to bring up the topic of wages, hours and holidays. Only 15% of employers surveyed thought the interview was the right time for the candidate to raise the topic of salaries and benefits, while 39% thought is was the right time for the interviewer to raise the subject
- State your interest for the position and organization with enthusiasm
- Remember to thank the interviewer for their time and politely ask if you can follow up with them in a few days on the status of your application
After the Interview
- Send a brief thank you note. Mention some of the positive things you spoke about at the interview. 50% of hiring managers think email is the best way for a candidate to send a thank you note after the interview
- Follow up with a phone call if you are not contacted within a week of the committed time