We’re all about the right people finding employment to match their qualifications, skills, and personality types. You’ll see more about that in 2017 as we introduce psychometric tests to help match employers and employees in a way beneficial to both.
But let’s take a step back and look at some tips to help you, the job seeker, get a foot in the door in 2017. The tips below have been compiled based on the experiences of professional corporate recruiters and HR staff – so take note.
1. Introduce yourself the right way
“Impressions are formed in the first 30 seconds,” says one veteran corporate recruiter. Others put it at seven seconds, and some even at 3 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to get a head start on your future. So what should you do to make a great first impresssion?
Many recruiters recommend an energising bout of pre-interview exercise for that extra rush of feel-good neurotransmitters. It will also help you relax. This doesn’t mean you have to burn rubber during your morning run, but nor should you avoid breaking a sweat.
On a related note, hygiene fails can cost you that dream job. Although related statistics are in short supply, it’s a common enough problem to make it one of the key gripes of career recruiters and HR personnel. As such make sure you do not offend your interviewers olfactory or visual senses, and take the time to pay meticulous attention to every little detail.
When it’s time to hit the road, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination (meaning: know where you need to go before you leave the house). Breaking a sweat during exercise is a good thing; dripping all over the floor when you arrive at the interview isn’t. Show up 15-20 minutes before an interview to compose yourself and gather your thoughts.
Upon meeting the interviewer
- Maintain eye contact
- Shake their hand
- Introduce yourself
- Speak clearly
- Stand up as they enter the room, and sit only when invited to sit
2. Don’t be negative
“Why did you leave your last job?” is a common interview question, and also a common interview pitfall. The details of the answer doesn’t really mattter; what the interviewer likely wants to assess are the chances of that happening once they hire you. Avoid negative answers altogether, even if your last boss was the biggest jerk on the planet, and even if you felt there was no more room for growth.
Negativity should really be avoided at all costs. People don’t like people who are negative; this is as true for interviews as it is for social settings. Instead, look forward and focus on the positives such as your interest in a new position, the potential for growth at the new company, and the possibility of being part of a vibrant and dynamic team.
3. Keep your social profiles clean
Many of us use our social profiles to post holiday pics, family snaps, and to engage with our friends and followers. This counts as ‘normal’ content, and should be fine. Posting content related to your job, such as articles and infographics, will count in your favour.
But as we see every so often in South Africa, some people choose to post content which can get them in trouble – and the company they’re working for, too.
As a result, employers are increasingly logging on to popular social media sites to see who their candidates are when the suit and tie come off. Keep your social media profiles free from divisive, controversial, or explicit content.
4. Do your homework & be motivated
Showing up to an interview without some idea of the position on offer or knowing a little about the company is a red flag. You’ll come across as uninterested and unmotivated, which is something interviewers will pick up on.
Most employers are looking for self-starters, people whose passion will drive them to grow in the position they are applying for. Show that passion by doing research on the company and its products before the interview. Research competitors and related industry trends.
The more knowledgeable you appear about the industry and position you’re applying for, the more likely it is you’ll create a favourable impression.
5. Get your employment history straight
“I can’t remember where I worked two years ago” is another red flag. After all, this information is supposed to be on your C.V. Any disparity between your interview answers and the details on your C.V. are likely to get a few questions raised about your honesty.
Similarly, if you’ve got a profile on LinkedIn or Quora – or any other site where your work history is publicly available – make sure the items on your profile match your employment history on your C.V. Consistency will indicate a diligent commitment to yourself, and your professional life.
Can you add any interview tips to help 2017’s job seekers become more employable? Share them in the comments below.