- Being Prepared!
These sound like a list of “no-brainers”, but they are, sadly, all too common. I cannot tell you how many times I had a candidate, who upon arrival at my office did not know who they were meeting with. Showing up late, dressing inappropriately and forgetting required interview documents are mistakes I see regularly (who doesn’t bring a RESUME to an interview!?) And please, for goodness’ sake, be on time!
- Do Your Research!
I have interviewed hundreds of otherwise qualified candidates who, to my dismay, found they knew nothing about the position for which they were interviewing. This lack of preparation tells me that you are not that excited about the opportunity which we are discussing. In my current example, I was interviewing someone for a potential sales role. Would YOU hire a sales person who apparently did not see the importance in researching their target? Neither would I. Suffice it to say, this candidate will not be moving to Phase Two of the Interview Process.
- Stay Positive!
This is more than just good advice for life. At one point or another, we have all left jobs or switched careers for less than savory reasons. And in many cases, they were GOOD reasons! “I had horrible bosses”. “I could not spend any more time in such a rotten industry.” “I never got the training I needed.”In my experience, the difficulty for job seekers comes when trying to massage those reasons when interviewing for a new opportunity. As a Recruiter and as a fellow occasional job seeker, I know that many candidates whom I interview have legitimate, negative reasons for leaving their last employer. However, an interview is your opportunity to show tact, adaptability and professionalism; going negative will ruin any chance you have of demonstrating those traits!
When addressing something negative in the workplace, use the “sandwich” technique and start with something positive. Highlight how amazing some of your coworkers were, or how great the training you received was. Then, tactfully discuss why you are looking to leave. Close the loop in a positive manner as well. “While I work with a great team, my boss and I have some philosophical differences in our approach to our sales process. He truly has the best intentions, but we have reached a point in which we just can’t see eye to eye. I would love the opportunity to be part of a team that believes treating the customer right is the first priority.”
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