Howdy all! It’s now officially December and we’re a mere few weeks away from a brand new month, year and decade. I’m writing this human resource blog to wrap up another aspect of my brand of finding your passion and purpose and assist others in finding a job that suits their skills and goals to find sustained joy and growth in the workplace (or at least as much as possible though odds are we may never find that one job that’s perfect!).
I’ve been on both sides of the interviewing process at various points in time, so I think it’s only fitting that I share what I’ve learnt.
What NOT to do at a job interview (or before)
- Do not arrive late.
- Do not make too much small talk or flirt with the staff or recruiters.
- Do not assume that you are the best person for the job (it transcends in body language).
- Do not misrepresent yourself: Lie, fabricate or demand facts or details.
- Do not make your resume more than 2 pages long (concise summary of job experience & qualifications SPECIFIC to the JOB you applied for).
- Do not dress inappropriately for the job or industry [gaudy jewelry/clothes, short skirts, sleeveless, slippers (in some cases open toe or slingbacks), unkept feet, nails, hair etc].
- Do not speak in a way that does not fit the organization or type of job (audience or staff when you get the job). Whether it’s too fast, too slow (especially with pregnant pauses), broken English (or native language), jargon (or lack thereof) etc.
- Do not use inappropriate non-verbal cues such as swear words, suck your teeth (steups as we say in these parts), frown, pout, or smile too much, touch panelist(s).
- Do not speak out of turn: answer questions not asked, ask questions before asked to do so, ask irrelevant or sensitive company information.
- Do not ask about salary and packages in an obvious way so employers are led to assume you are more about the money than proving your fit for the job to fulfill the company’s goals. Some employers ask what package candidates are seeking near the end of the interview – based on your qualifications and experience.
- Refrain from expressing your views on controversial issues (before, at the interview, or after you get the job) unless the job requires it of you. In that case, try to find out what are the company’s position on these issues. This includes abortion, religion, politics, ethnicity, gay & transgender issues, issues in the Middle East etc.
- Do not oversell (boast) or downplay your abilities – unless the job market or your goals at that point allows for this. Take cues from your observances of their current staff, the recruiters and management team to determine if you are on par or below their current standard as it pertains to temperament, personality, overall deportment, job experience & qualifications.
- Do not carry gifts or tokens to the interview – especially edible items! (unless it’s non-perishable samples of your work and the opportunity to present it arises).
Things to remember before your job interview
- Get to the interview on time, or at least 15 minutes prior.
- Get familiar with the ethos, culture and objectives of the organization so you can effectively demonstrate your suitability and fit. You can find info on their website, social media pages, trade magazines, newsletters, newspapers, current staff who you may know personally and are a credible and reliable source of FACTS.
- Greet everyone you DIRECTLY encounter and who makes eye contact with you with respect and a pleasant countenance (good morning/afternoon). From security, to receptionist, tea ladies, staff. And the interviewers/panelists with a firm handshake.
- Try to represent the company’s objectives as astutely as possible so you can be a happy camper at least 3 out of 5 times per week. If you are unable to align yourself with an organization that feeds into what you’re all about and one that can retain/attract staff with similar ideals, some days will be an inevitable tug-o-war just to make it through the day. In other words, keep on the look-out for those jobs that align with who you are intrinsically.
- Listen attentively & observe body language and facial expressions of panelists so you can respond appropriately (at the right times)!
Hope this helps you along your career journey. I’ll be officially launching my Career Coaching modules in 2020 to be conducted via Skype & case-by-case in-person sessions.
Stay tuned & Happy Holidays!