I trust you have been having a great read from parts 1 and 2 of this series. if you
In part 1 of this series, I explained activities you must pay close attention to while preparing for an interview. Click here to read part 1. In this part 2, I will explain some interview “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind before attending one. Enjoy your reading.
As a job seeker, you go into every job interview with two goals. First, to impress the employer with what a great hire you would be –your qualifications, accomplishments and enthusiasm for them and the job. The other is to learn as much as you can about the employer and the job itself.
As a result of the recent global trend of remote working, many businesses are beginning to focus more on online recruitment.
Regardless of the kind of interview you have been invited to (online or physical), there are guiding principles that must be strictly adhered to.
People often say “dress how you want to be addressed” and I agree. Irrespective of the kind of job you’re interviewing for, you must make an effort to look smart and presentable. Your clothes should be clean, adequately ironed and must fit nicely. Please avoid flashy colors and shimmery outfits, except you’re going for an audition that requires you to dress in this manner.
Consider your grooming. Ensure your hair and beards are not out of place, your makeup is moderate and your breath, fresh. If you must pop a few mint tablets or sweets, please do. Deodorant is a must before you even think of wearing perfume. Be sure your smell game is on point and not offensive. Offensive could also take the form of choky fragrances in the effort to over-impress. Please be mindful of this because some recruiters may be suffering from respiratory problems that you may not be privy to and you do not want to be the reason someone has an allergic reaction during your interview. Keep it simple, even down to your perfume.
You seriously do not want to risk a late entry for your physical interview, regardless of the distance from your house. You already know the interview time and should have an estimate of how long your commute will be. If you’ve been scheduled for an online interview, you should sign in 10 minutes before the time as you do not want to create a wrong first impression, where the recruiter sits and waits for you to show up. This would also help you try out the strength of your internet, especially if you reside in countries where data connections are unstable.
If for any reason you would be arriving later than previously agreed, do well to notify the recruiter ahead of time. ‘Ahead’ here does not mean an hour to the scheduled time, except in cases of an emergency but ideally, 24-48 hours as the case may be.
You shouldn’t even take this lightly. I’ve heard several recruitment tales where one of the skills required for the vacancy was “attention to details”. The recruiters had placed certain items visibly around the areas leading to the interview room so they could ask you “what you noticed” as you walked in through the gate to the meeting room. No matter what position you’re interviewing for or the skills and competencies required, it is necessary that you pay absolute attention to the surroundings of your interview.
In the workplace, the benefit of this when speaking to people is well established but it can get a bit tricky for someone who is sitting for a job interview.
Presentation Coach, Graham Davies once told the Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) that there is actually “quite a thin borderline between the level of eye contact that comes across as ‘professionally successful’ and that which feels almost like sinister stalking, especially during high-pressured situations like job interviews”.
It was, therefore, recommended that optimum eye contact should be somewhere in the 60% to 70% range, meaning that making eye contact should feel more natural than forced. This eye contact level would help create a connection with the interviewer, establishing a sense of “authenticity and trustworthiness”.
I believe that we can tell when this becomes somewhat unprofessional. You do not want to begin a stare contest with your interviewer neither do you want to continuously look away while answering their questions. For the record, healthy eye contact elevates your status as one who knows their onions and so confidently wants to make that clear to the recruiter.
Yes! You are not the only one who gets asked all the questions. You also are expected to ask a few yourself. You must have researched the organization and requested for the job description to understand the role expectations. These will guide the kind of questions you should ask, so you don’t come off as uninterested.
It is no secret that employers like to hire confident people to work for them. Fight the urge to fidget as that will come up a few times. One way to do this is to practice before your mirror prior to D-day. Research likely questions and make your own answers. Role play; ask your friend, family member, anyone to interview you so that you answer those likely questions and adjudge your performance before the day. Your ability to respond based on those rehearsals can help you stay still and make controlled, calculated movements during the interview proper. Be careful not to tap your hands or feet either.
It’s important to smile and try to enjoy the process. It’s only nervous people that grimace or frown and look super serious or distracted. You’re nervous; we get it but it’s also mature conduct when people are unable to read your feelings and negative body language. You’re a professional; act like one. Practice your handshake. Nothing is worse than a limp handshake because it shows a lack of experience in interviews and the absence of confidence.