Do's and Don'ts When Interviewing
As recruiters, our job is to help candidates make a great first impression and secure a job offer as a result of a successful interview. Ideally, we interview candidates who can do this very well on their own, which luckily happens often. In those instances, where there is room for improvement we offer constructive advice and tips that are helpful. Below are some interview “don’ts” that are difficult for potential employers to get beyond as well as some interview tips. Someone may not interview well, but could be an excellent employee who lacks some basic interview etiquette. Here are a few do's and don'ts we have seen over the years.
About that Pumpkin Spiced Latte... Absolutely never walk in to an interview holding a beverage in your hand. You are there competing with other candidates for a position. It is not a casual get together with a friend for coffee. It will likely be looked upon as rude, simply because it is.
What Stinks? Perfumes and colognes should be omitted during an interview. What smells pleasant to you may not to others, and can affect allergies of people around you. It would be sad if you didn’t get a job offer and lost it to someone else because whatever scent you wore was too strong for someone interviewing you and their fear was they would be smelling it every day in the work place. Its best to play it safe and “axe” (excuse the pun) your choice of brand name cologne or perfume. One’s scent is not a protected class and could hurt your chances.
Stay Positive. Keep the conversation positive when discussing previous employment. Many of us have had bosses or worked for companies that we did not like for what could be perfectly legitimate reasons. When asked about those previous roles you always want to focus on the positive experiences you had and what you contributed and learned from your time there. There is such a thing as being too honest and this is one of those cases. Speaking negatively about your past employer or job could raise a red flag for a hirer, causing them to fear you are not a positive person and might bring you own negative baggage to their workplace. We can all find the good in any situation, so focus on that when answering.
Show those pearly whites. Last but not least, don’t forget to smile. It sounds so basic, but countless qualified people interview every day and forget to smile when meeting someone for the first time. Those that tend to be shy by nature may find putting forth a friendlier demeanor more difficult, but it is something worth overcoming. I have never heard anyone give feedback indicating a candidate was too friendly or smiled too much! So smile and good luck!