I so love my role as a recruiter, that I cannot imagine myself not being one (for the company or clients I have worked for).
I admit, my very first interview went pretty bad. At that time I was young and naive and I assumed the recruiter was a kind of help line and when I was asked ‘Tell me about you’ I told him half of my life – until he ‘kindly’ stopped me saying “We’ll let you know”. I have never heard back from him.
Now that I am on the other end of the desk, I have the chance to list the worst mistakes candidates have ever made during their interviews.
1. Calling repeatedly
If your interview will be conducted over Skype and you see the recruiter is not calling, maybe he/she is on a meeting. If you want to wave at them just send a quick message saying you are online and ready whenever they will be. If they don’t respond you have the right to call once, but don’t be too pushy!
2. Speak over the interviewer
During an interview the employers try to understand if you may be the best candidate. It would be impossible if you speak over them.
It happened to me that the interlocutor wasn’t listening to my questions, on the contrary, he was – freely – speaking over my voice. Of course, the outcome was very negative.
3. We are not at Oprah!
Before going for an interview, be prepared on your qualities. When I say strengths I mean those characteristics that make you a better candidate than someone else. The most common ones are: being organised, being punctual, hard working etc. A girl once declared her strength was ‘her family’! Please, focus on your work attributes and let’s not be sentimental.
4. This is not Made in Chelsea
In several EU countries you have to accompany your CV with a photo of yourself. I still sometimes receive resumes with pictures. However, in the UK is not requested, besides, it can be a discriminant factor being chosen because of your appearance rather than your skills. To my recurring question: “How would your former-manager describe you?” I have been answered with the most unexpected statement: “My ex-manager would describe me as….very handsome!”. Thank you my darling, but we’re not recruiting for a UK TV show!
5. WNF – Weaknesses Not Found
You may ignore the fact that your weakness are as important as your strengths. You cannot expect to grow in your role if you don’t have a weak point to work on. When you converse with the employer, please, don’t say that you don’t know what your weakness is.
Or – even worse – that you don’t have any weaknesses. No employers want to hire someone who pretends to be a perfect robot, so don’t be one!
Remember that the best way to avoid these mistakes is to think ahead and decide not to make them!