The Do’s and Don’ts of a Job Interview

Prepare for a Job Interview with the Support of a Professional Staffing Agency

African American worker driving forkliftIf a utopian world existed for job seekers, they could just identify a position they would like, send a note expressing their interest to the employer, and then wait for a phone call from the hiring manager to confirm a salary and a start date.  Unfortunately, not only is the real world of job searching far from utopian, such a good-faith hiring practice could be devastating for employers.

To paraphrase a common maxim, people usually want to see/test what they are getting before making a firm commitment – hence the importance for employers to schedule interviews with, at the minimum, a short-list of high-potential candidates.  In fact, a job interview serves many purposes, with the most central being to provide the following:

  • An opportunity for the employer to assess a fit with the candidate
  • An opportunity for the candidate to assess a fit with the employer

Recognizing the critical nature of a job interview, it is rather astounding when one hears tales of candidates who have displayed poor judgment or a sheer lack of common sense during interviews, essentially ‘sinking their ship’ before it ever had the chance to set sail.  And this probably occurs far more often than unsuccessful candidates would ever admit.

Therefore, while likely incomplete, the following ‘do’s and don’ts’ are offered to assist job seekers in maximizing their potential for success during any job interviews:

Some Do’s for a Job Interview

  • Dress appropriately
    • Pay attention to attire (formal yet conservative) and personal grooming
  • Act courteously and respectfully
    • Greet/meet everyone similarly, regardless of function/role in the process
    • Use a firm handshake, smile, make eye contact, acknowledge hospitality
  • Be enthusiastic
    • Present and articulate a sincere interest in the position and the company
    • Display positive body language – maintain good posture and eye contact
  • Show preparedness
    • Demonstrate knowledge obtained about the job, company, and industry
    • Anticipate questions; have answers/examples ready to offer in response
    • Exhibit sureness/foresight re: questions posed about salary expectations
    • Ask relevant and intuitive questions whenever opportunities are provided
  • Listen intently
    • Ensure a complete understanding of all questions before giving responses
    • Pause momentarily to formulate responses after questions are fully asked
  • Respond confidently
    • Showcase all achievements, skills, formal recognition – tastefully/factually
    • Offer situational examples – what was needed, what was done, outcomes
  • Express appreciation
    • Respect time/contributions of all parties – follow-up with a thank-you note
    • Close – reiterate interest in the position and request a summary of next steps

Some Don’ts for a Job Interview

  • Arrive late, especially without calling ahead to explain the circumstances
  • Dress in attire that is garish, overly casual, or rather revealing in nature
  • Wear after-shave, deodorant, cologne, or perfume that is overpowering
  • Ignore, snub, or speak curtly or tersely to administrative staff members
  • Appear/act aggressive, desperate, impatient, overzealous, or indifferent
  • Slouch, fidget, yawn, act bored, gaze out the window, stare at the floor
  • Tell jokes (of any nature) or use foul or inappropriate language/gestures
  • Raise/offer unsolicited opinions on topics that are sensitive/controversial
  • Speak negatively of current or former managers, employers, colleagues
  • Overinflate, take liberties, exaggerate, or lie in reference to experience
  • Get personal about family or private matters – or with any interviewers
  • Answer cellphones, respond to text messages, check e-mails/voice mail
  • Enter the interview with food or drink, or while chewing gum or smoking
  • Answer questions without elaborating and/or not have prepared answers

Clearly, the latter list appears contrived or perhaps just intended to induce some smiles and/or chuckles.  However, many interviewers or staffing agency representatives will attest to the fact that they have observed candidates demonstrate one or more of these behaviours (or don’ts) during an interview.

Consequently, for job seekers looking to refine their comportment and performance in a job interview and/or for those wishing to better prepare overall for their next interview, they may benefit from consulting with a placement professional from a staffing agency such as Winters Technical Staffing in Toronto.  The experienced recruitment experts from Winters Technical Staffing can assist job hunters in the following ways:

  • Resume and covering letter preparation
  • Coaching on proper interview behaviours
  • Employer history; market/industry trends
  • Anticipation of hiring managers’ questions
  • Development and delivery of responses
  • Compensation and benefits expectations
  • Avoiding common pitfalls/hiring roadblocks

Contact Winters Today

For professional advice and support in preparing for your next job interviews, call the job placement specialists at Winters Technical Staffing today at 1-866-932-5248 to speak with one of our staffing consultants.

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