When it comes to making a good first impression do you tend to “over compensate” and push too hard? Listen it’s hard to know how you should behave to a total stranger especially one who has the power to get you your next job. Knowing how to act and knowing what drives recruiters crazy is the first step to not making it your last step when you show up for an interview.
Next time you find yourself in front of a perfect stranger who has your career in the palm of their hands here are a few things to avoid if you want them to ever call you back:
- Fidget & Fuss: We all get nervous especially on an interview for a job you really want. But acting like you can’t hold it together is not going to score any real points with the recruiter. Shifting in your chair, biting your nails, playing with your hair or an object, chewing gum are all signs that you are not able to act and behave professionally when under pressure. You are being judged for your professionalism as well as your skills so remember when interviewing for the part you better learn how to act the part first.
- Sweaty Hands: Some people just naturally sweat and some people take it to an art form especially when they are nervous. No one likes to shake a wet towel and then have to wipe their hands off on their clothes afterwards. If you are one of those that have to wring your hands (and feet) from sweaty glands, you can try a little trick before you are introduced to a recruiter. Try carrying small can of deodorant spray or wipes in your pocket and gingerly apply a small amount to your hands. Avoid using powder or dry deodorant as they leave a sticky feeling and white residue that will likely get all over the recruiter’s hands. Alcohol wipes or Purell also act as a drying agent if you have room to carry them. Remember dry before you apply.
- “You Think I’ll Get The Job?” Asking the recruiter about your chances before you even get through the first interview shows you are too eager and maybe just a little desperate – no one wants to be harassed! You may want to know about your chances and how well you stack up against the other candidates but best to save that for a follow up email or the next round of interviews assuming you get a call back. Don’t be too pushy or forceful please learn to play it cool.
- “Do You Have Any Questions? When asked if you have any questions either about the job or the company, don’t sit there with a blank stare or simply state, “Nope, I got it!” The recruiter does not want to be the only one talking and asking questions and it’s good to show you did your homework before you came in for an interview. Being prepared with a few questions, even if they are general ones, shows that you have given the process some thought and that you are interested in the company and knowledgeable about its products and services. Staring down the recruiter should not be your only response.
- “How much?” We all want to be paid fairly for work but putting the recruiter on the spot about salary and compensation in a first meeting may not be the right approach. If you are asked about your compensation requirements be honest and tell them what you are currently making or, that you did some research and would like a salary between a specific range. It’s best if you do not initiate conversation about salary unless asked on a first meeting or you will likely put the recruiter on the spot as they sometimes are not fully aware of the budget or range. Trust me, if they like you, they will make the compensation work for you-wait until you are asked.
Making sure you make the best first impression means you are aware of how you come across in making the interviewer feel comfortable and relaxed. That doesn’t mean you should pull out pictures of your family vacation, but learning to read the queues and keeping it professional will ensure you at least a follow up interview if not a job offer.
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