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Interview Tips

BE A SMART CANDIDATE!

Now that you are a well prepared job seeker, here are some of our top SMART interview tips. It is not uncommon for any one of our staff members to have interviewed hundreds, if not thousands of people. We have seen and heard just about everything! We have compiled a list of common interview mistakes. Some may seem obvious and others may be something new. And whether not your interview is with us, these tips are sure to help you make a positive first impression.

  • Allow ample time to fill out the application and to interview. The interviewer does not want to feel rushed and may see you as distracted and impatient. NEVER ask “How long is this going to take?”
  • Dress appropriately for an interview. No pajamas, flip flops, wrinkled, inappropriate or revealing clothing. Taking the time to present your best appearance for an interview gives the potential employer an idea of what they can expect from you.
  • Cut off communications! Answering or making calls while filling out applications or during an interview sends the message that the interviewer’s time is not that important to you.
  • Don’t be evasive in your answers; give the best answer you can. You don’t need to tell your entire life story either. Try to keep all information relative to the questions asked. And be direct.
  • Come to your interview/application ALONE! We cannot stress this enough. There is only so much space. And truthfully, it appears that you don’t take job hunting seriously and lack independence. Interested in a position, make the call yourself. Do not have a spouse, friend, parent, etc. call for you. Again, this sends the message you are not independent. An employer will question whether or not you will be able to work without constant supervision.
  • Body language! Actions speak louder than words- and body language can scream DON’T HIRE ME! Sit up straight, and look the interviewer in the eye! This will send a message of confidence and that you are ready for the challenges of being a productive worker. On the other hand, lying on the desk, slumping, crossing your arms, and looking at the floor send the message that you may be difficult to motivate and get along with.
  • Being difficult to get along with, questioning why you need to fill out an application or take assessment test is a definite employment opportunity killer! This says to a potential employer, “I will not take direction and I will argue with my supervisors.”
  • Never insult the potential employer. O.K. so maybe you are not applying for your dream job, but don’t say things like “I don’t really want to work as ‘the position’ but I need a job”. While that may be the honest truth, it sends the message that as soon as something better comes along you will be out the door, in which case the employer has just wasted a great amount of time and money hiring you. You are also sending the message that you will not be a productive employee and will share that negative energy with everyone around you.
  • You’ve gone to school, gotten your degree or certificate. Congratulations, you should be proud of your success and accomplishments! But, you lack any serious work experience. This is where things can get tricky! Most of us start out somewhere near the bottom- a.k.a. the Entry Level! We certainly do not suggest anyone sell themselves short. But, it is necessary to be honest, open-minded and willing in this situation. Learning how to work, gaining real life experiences and being mentored by seasoned professionals is something well worth thinking over.
  • Eat beforehand. That way you will not be hungry and distracted. And thus you will not need to bring food, drink, candy or gum to the interview/application. This is a major pet peeve for many interviewers. Leave food and drink, including water bottles in the car!