Thursday, December 10, 2009

Interview Dos and Don'ts

As a Senior level professional in the recruitment industry I have done my share of screening candidates over the years and consider myself pretty competent at determining who is qualified to move forward to an interview with the hiring manager. That being said it still astounds me how many potential candidates will go to an interview and have an unsuccessful outcome. A candidate can have all the credentials in the world but if they don’t follow certain basic interview rules they will not move forward. This list is based on feedback I’ve received from clients and should be on everybody’s list when attending an interview.

DO have an professional and tidy appearance. Even if you know the company has a culture of casual dress, you should still dress formally for an interview.

DON’T be late for the interview. This should seem obvious, but happens way too frequently. Plan ahead. Plan for traffic, and finding a parking space, and finding the office.

DO go in knowing something about the company or organization and what they do. It is your responsibility to do your research and be aware of the company’s profile.

DON’T badmouth former employers or a former boss.

DO remember to follow-up. If you are dealing with a recruiter, you should follow up with them. Otherwise send a thank you note to the hiring manager directly.

DON’t fail to answer the questions you’ve been asked. Just as it sounds, make sure you are answering what is being asked, and not going off on a tangent.

DO be prepared to describe your qualifications for the job. Be specific. Let the hiring manager know how your qualifications fit with the job specifications.

DONT talk too much or too little. As a rule, the candidate should be doing most of the talking, while not taking over the conversation. If you find the hiring manager doing most of the talking, gently try to guide the conversation back to you and your qualifications. Otherwise they will come away with little or no impression of you.

DON'T use inappropriate language and do make eye contact. Be aware that you are attempting to put your best foot forward.

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