Ten Things Recruiters Won't Tell You
First impressions make a huge difference during a job interview. And you know the drill: Dress appropriately, make sure everything is clean and well-pressed, comb your hair and wear a winning smile. (Don't forget to brush your teeth!)
And in today's extremely competitive job marketplace – where hundreds of people may be equally skilled, at least on paper, for a single position – recruiters are focused even more sharply on first impressions. They are looking for subtle personality indicators, in body language and in the way you communicate, to determine if you are right for the workplace. Appearance is only part of the package.
Your suitability for a job is being judged from the moment you meet the recruiter. Yet if you're weeded out, you'll likely never truly know why. But HR professionals do.
Why You May Have Been Written Off as a Candidate
1. Your attire is outdated, too tight or too flashy.
2. You look disheveled, sloppy or smelly (not enough deodorant or too much perfume).
3. Your eye contact is weak, shifty or too intense.
4. Your handshake is limp, clammy or too forceful.
5. You say ah, um or 'like' too much.
6. You talk too much, use poor grammar or swear.
7. You appear pushy, self-centered, aloof, ditzy, scatter-brained or desperate.
8. You talk too fast, slow, loud or soft.
9. You giggle, fidget, act nervous or lack expression.
10. You lack sincerity, self-confidence or conviction.
(Thanks to J.T. O'Donnell, author of the book Careerealism and CEO of CareerHMO.com, for these insider insights.)
How To Clean Up Your Act During An Interview
1. Change your attitude. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and knock off the bitterness or anger about your predicament, and instead be grateful that you have been granted an interview and the chance to prove you are perfect for the job.
2. Show positivity. Smile. Be proud of your strengths and confident in your capabilities. Act like you really want the job (you do, don't you?) and you are capable of contributing right away (you are, aren't you?)
3. Follow the recruiter's lead. Show some restraint. Refrain from loud bouts of laughter, for instance, unless the recruiter happens to be a bubbly soul. If the HR manager is reserved and clasps his hands in his lap, don't do a happy dance -- unless it's an audition for the TV show Glee. On the other hand, don't hide your enthusiasm.
4. Do your homework. Get some basic information about the company or organization beforehand. How long has it been around, who is the clientele and what is it they do, promote or sell?
5. Get smart. Career training in your field can often take the place of experience. And you may gain experience while you earn a certificate or degree. You can do it all with the help of PCDI, because we think learning and earning go hand in hand.
Got a tip of your own on acing the interview? What was your most awkward interview? Leave a comment.