As a recruiter I have met all kinds of surprises in the interview room in the name of job seekers. This week alone has been clad with a lot of energy-draining characters that make you wonder how long they're gonna remain jobless with all that negative energy. The eye-rollers, the self-entitled VIP candidates, the hostile call-ins who want you to give them jobs now NOW! Many recruiters and HR professionals will tell you that they have dismissed candidates on the basis of these weird show-offs that some job seekers decide to showcase in their quest to fulfill this need. I mean, why would you roll your eyes to people that you expect to give you a job?
One time we interviewed a candidate whom we thought was the best fit for going by the impressive resume they had submitted. We even didn’t bother calling the other candidates first since we knew (or thought we knew) that we were about to meet the person we’ve been waiting for. Bad move. We ended up spoiling our entire day; drained and disappointed. To begin with, the candidate showed up almost an hour late without apologies. We chose to entertain them by going ahead with the interview. Woe unto us. What followed was an excruciating 20-minute headless discussion capped with all manner of miscommunication skills. We regretted the choice we made of relying on the resume to transcribe a picture of the candidate.
Bad sitting posture
The candidate never sat up straight. It was as if they were at the local joint back in the village waiting to be served a mug of something that the government does not approve. One of the things we look for is your physical presentation, even before you open up to speak. Unless you have a physical deformity, always try to be upright on your seat. It will do great justice in your relaxation, audibility and general impression. Don’t you know that your posture depicts your confidence?
Facial Expressions gone wrong
Your expressions speak more eloquent than your words. Our candidate gave us a fair share of sneers and eye rolls, so much that we even stopped looking at them. You see, we were trying to be as professional as possible (professionalism here means ‘calm’) in order to get something positive from the interview. We weren’t sooo lucky though. A complete waste of professionalism I would say. A good number of recruiters will just shoo you out as soon as you show any of these unpleasantries (we don’t have such a word… don’t use it anywhere!).
Dodgy eye contact
As an interviewer, I can tell you free of charge that looking down or on the wall or ceiling will never land you your dream job. Remember this: shyness, resentment or whatever your reasons for looking away from your interviewers are will just keep you in the ever-growing percentage of joblessness that we are currently facing in this country. If you can’t maintain sensible eye contact, obviously you may not be able to maintain a job.
Our candidate treated us to several long moments of silence during the entire interview. I guess you’re still wondering how we ended up spending all that time with them. Now, listen carefully: when you are asked a question in an interview and in your honesty of honesties you know deep down you have nothing to contribute, it’s very acceptable to tell your interviewers you are not aware but you will make some effort to find out. Pretending to be thinking long and hard won’t help a tad.
There are many other deal-breakers that deny candidates jobs such as putting on outrageous outfits to the interview, constant interruptions from your phone (put it on silent or flight mode!), poor listening skills – making the interviewer repeat questions every now and then and many others.
So, are you, as a jobseeker, ready to stand out and be hired? Do your research on how best to conduct yourself in an interview and you will certainly be a favorite placement.
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