Recruiters pride themselves on being able to read people. Highly developed instincts and skills are used to understand what the employer is looking for OR what key strengths a candidate has. When you find that perfect person and you know they’re going to fit, it’s really thrilling!
Unfortunately that perfect match is like a diamond in the rough, a needle in a haystack. Candidates do not always show their true potential when speaking to us in the pre-screening interview. They tell us recruiters what we want to hear, act confident and then, often, buckle under the pressure when they’re sitting in front of their potential employer… the one who really counts. We try our best to prepare candidates (how to act, what to wear) for the questions they’ll be asked, but in the end, it’s really about how they portray themselves in front of the client.
Through my experiences as a recruiter, I have noticed numerous interview behaviours that I had initially thought were obvious. Let me go over some of them:
When you arrive is very important, it’s the first impression. Showing up late is out of the question, it’s better to call and reschedule. That being said, it is also a faux pas to show up too early. Something to think about… do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your scheduled time! If you happen to over-prepare, which is a good thing, wait outside the office. Go to the bathroom, read over your resume, take deep breaths or drink a glass of water if you have to, but do not walk through the door more than 10 minutes early, five would be best.
Always dress slightly better than the interviewer. As part of your research process it is important to understand the dress code of the industry and the particular company that you’re interviewing for. There will always be a range of attire as recently there has been an increase in “casual” or “dress down” office environments. You want to avoid showing up in an outfit that’s more casual than the interviewer. If you do make the mistake of doing this, you could be perceived as ‘not being serious about the job’. Again, you’re trying to create a lasting impression, so when in doubt, dress in business attire.
Keep your phones on silent and out of sight in an interview. I had always thought that this was an obvious and straightforward concept, but more than once I’ve had reports back from employers letting me know that the interviewee picked up their phone during the meeting. PEOPLE!!! REALLY?! The interview is a test, a glimpse into your potential future with this company. Prove that you’re worthy of working for them by showing that they have your undivided attention.
So, there you have it! Recruiters put a lot of trust into their candidates; prepping them as best as they can, but ultimately, when a candidate is put in front of a client/employer, they are left to their own devices. They are our product, what we base our reputation on… that’s pressure! So, when we, the recruiter, refer you to our clients – we are putting our faith in you. That means we expect you, as our candidates, to kick butt for us in the interview… we believe in you, so prove us right! Don’t let the above details be the reasons why you DO or DO NOT get hired!