If you work in a business where you’re involved in the recruitment of new employees, it can be a tricky part of the job! The first time you interview someone, you might feel even more nervous than the candidate you’re meeting with. Over time, with practice, you’ll probably become more relaxed and develop methods and techniques to draw out responses from candidates that will allow you to assess their competency for the job.
But what if you’re the interviewee?
We asked WRS colleagues, clients and candidates the dos and don’ts of interviews for a candidate meeting with a potential new employers for the first time.
Bad manners can cost everything.
Firstly, avoid swearing. No matter how relaxed your interviewer might seem, or might make you feel, blurting out expletives is inappropriate. Interviews are formal occasions and swearing might suggest you’re not taking it seriously or you might alienate your interviewer and close down conversation if they don’t feel comfortable with that language.
Don’t chew gum or suck sweets either. It’s extremely distracting and can be quite annoying, especially over a webcam or telephone where the noises are amplified. If you meet in person, avoid having a cigarette for an hour before hand and don’t eat food with garlic in it beforehand. Bad smells might turn your interviewer off very quickly.
Silence your phone
Don’t have your phone on loud or vibrate. In fact, we recommend that you turn it off completely for the hour or so that you’re in the meeting, to ensure there are no distractions that might interfere with you giving your best performance. If you know of an impending emergency which might cause you to receive a call during the interview, inform the interviewer at the start of the session.
You might win a shout-off, but you'll lose a job offer.
Yes, the interviewer wants to hear you talk but they also want to see that you can listen too. Do not talk over your interviewer. Be sure to wait until they have finished their statement or question before you talk, to make sure you have fully understood what is being asked of you. After they have completed their question, think for a second or two before you answer – this shows you are putting genuine consideration into a response which is better than rushing.
Body language dos and don’ts
Try not to slouch or lean too far forward, which prevents fresh air circulating around your body effectively. This impacts your concentration and ability to think and function, so sit up straight with your shoulders pulled down away from your ears. Resist the desire to stare at the walls, floor or windows – this suggests you are bored. After all, interviewers are human beings too. How would you feel if you were talking to someone and they were disengaged in the conversation? Would it enamor you to that person? Would you feel confident to continue talking?
Make the best impression you can by engaging with your interviewer and looking them in the eye when you talk.
We frequently get questions from candidates about what to do if they’re late for an interview. Best advice: don't be late! In the unusual event that you find yourself behind schedule and in danger of being late, phone ahead to inform them. Prepare in advance by saving the phone number of the company you’re going to be interviewing at or your recruitment agent in your mobile phone so you can call them quickly and make them aware.
Make an effort to research your potential new employer. This should go without saying and is the minimum expectation for any decent interview preparation. Check out their website and look them up on social media. Ask yourself:
What has this company been doing recently?
Do they have any noteworthy achievements that you could talk about?
What are the future plans of the company?
Dress professionally for your interview. Avoid wearing clothes with offensive slogans or anything that reveals too much flesh. But also remember you should wear something you feel comfortable in. If you’re unsure of the dress code and really want to be prepared, just call and ask. It will show that you have a serious interest in the job and respect for the company’s policies.
Please Do not ignore these tips. Do try to memorise them and do share them with others who maybe in need of some useful tips for their next interview. You never know they may help you to land your next role.