career and job

Minggu, 05 September 2010

Real-Life Interview Blunders to Avoid

by Robert McCauley, Robert Half International

As any job seeker can tell you, acing an employment interview is no easy feat. According to a survey by Robert Half International, nearly one-third (32%) of executives polled said job candidates make more mistakes during the job interview than any other part of the job-hunting process.

You Can't Take It Back

Consider these real-life responses from hiring managers who were asked to name the strangest things they had ever heard of happening in a job interview:

* "After answering the first few questions, the candidate picked up his cell phone and called his parents to let them know the interview was going well."

* "The job seeker halted the conversation about work hours and the office environment, saying she didn't like being confined to a building, but would consider taking the job if she could move her desk to the courtyard outside."

* "When asked by the hiring manager why she was leaving her current job, the applicant said, 'My manager is a jerk. All managers are jerks.'"

* "After arriving for an early morning interview, the job seeker asked to use the hiring manager's phone. She proceeded to fake a coughing fit as she called in sick to her boss."

Preparation Is Good Insurance

While it's unlikely you'll make mistakes as egregious as the ones above, it always helps to prepare before interviewing with a prospective employer. Here are five tips to help you make a good first impression:

* Do your homework. Before the interview, review the job description again and make sure you can describe how your skills and experience match the requirements of the open position.

* Come prepared. Bring extra copies of your resume -- printed on high-quality paper -- and a list of references to the interview. Also dress appropriately. Even if you're interviewing with a company that has a casual dress code, it's better to be slightly over-dressed than under-dressed.

* Know what to expect. In all likelihood, the hiring manager will ask you a host of standard questions, such as "Why do you want to work for this firm?" and "What makes you right for this role?" Practice your responses to these queries with a friend at home so you can provide clear and concise answers.

* Have the right attitude. Be confident during the interview but not arrogant. Also consider your body language. Making eye contact with the interviewer and nodding your head in agreement shows you're engaged; slouching in your chair indicates you're bored.

* Follow up. Sending a thank-you note after the interview may seem old-fashioned, but hiring managers always appreciate receiving one. A brief message thanking the person for his or her time and reaffirming your interest in the role shows your professionalism and desire for the job.

Above all, be yourself when interviewing with a prospective employer. Companies seek workers who not only have the skills to perform the job but also the personality to thrive within the corporate culture.

Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For more information about our professional services, please visit

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