My Mum always told me that to get on with people, I had to mind my manners. It took me a few childhood “telling offs” to get the message, but I hope that I have now learnt the majority of the lessons.
Every parent knows the rulebook and it is their duty to bring up their children as little model citizens. Some manage it well, others have varying degrees of success….
The thing is, there is also a rulebook for jobseeker behaviour. We think that many of the rules should be common sense for most people, but you would be shocked at the numbers of times we cringe every week when we hear one horror story or the other. Therefore, in the spirit of being a good “parent”, we thought that it we might spell out some of our personal favourite rules. This is far from a full list, just the ones that particularly bug us!
- Get the recruiter’s name or email wrong.
- Use cut and paste applications, which contain incorrect info – such as where you saw their job ad.
- Ask inappropriate questions right up front – how much is the pay? (Yes, we’ve seen a cover letter that said that. Just that.)
- Give short answers. Make sure that you are expressive but still clear and concise.
- Be very late – or not show up at all for an interview. Even if you’ve changed your mind, have the courtesy to let the interviewer know – and not an hour before. You never know when you may re-apply and chances are you’ll be remembered – and not in a good way.
- Fail to research the company or the interviewer. Showing up at an interview with questions like “and what does this company do” will not earn you any extra points.
- Be apologetic – wet blankets don’t get very far in business. Even if you lack experience, talk about your willingness to learn rather than your lack of skills.
- Complain about the wait time or other interview conditions – even if they are bad.
- Show off too much. No one likes a glory hunter. Be confident but not cocky.
- Get defensive or hostile because you’ve haven’t heard back yet. Or have received a “no”. Be gracious and ask to stay on the list of interested applicants.
- Lie about your experience, qualifications, visa status, etc. You will get found out. Always.
- Moan about our current employer or a past boss. This will guarantee you a quick trip to the no list.
- Make any type of jokes. Establish rapport, by all means, but not by way of misplaced humour.
- Post your interview experience on social media (if it was negative). Like it or not, recruiters check social media before you turn up for an interview.
- Be overly eager or overly familiar with the interviewer.
- Hassle the interviewer via email or phone to get a status update.
- Dress sloppily or forget the basics of personal hygiene.
- Sit in silence at the end. Be interested, Ask good questions. End the interview on a positive note.
And here are some dos…
- Answer emails or calls in a timely fashion. If you’re keen to work, show it.
- Dress like you mean it.
- Shake hands with the interviewer when you meet and again when you leave.
- Smile, look them in the eye when you speak and be yourself.
- Be honest and enthusiastic.
- ALWAYS say thank you at the end of an interview – regardless of how it went.
If you are not able to regulate your behaviour during an interview process, then it will be clear that you won’t be able to do it on the job.
There are always doubts that occur in an interview process. Nothing is cut and dried. These doubts can be magnified negatively – or positively – by any of the above behaviours. Bear this in mind because they are easy to rectify and could drastically reduce your job chances.
And remember – always be on your best behaviour.