Written by: Justyna Cichocka, Employer Branding Specialist
Every job interview is some sort of sales pitch. Whether you attend a meeting or chat online, you need to put your best foot forward and, let’s face it, sell your strengths.
What are some things you should NOT do under any circumstances during a job interview? Whether you’re a programmer, tester, or accountant, the same rules apply to everyone.
It may seem that this is obvious. Sadly, as it turns out from our recruitment experience, this is not always necessarily the case. Sometimes these are the little lies that go through quite smoothly – the level of proficiency in a certain tool or experience in particular technologies. However, there are also bigger ones. Bear in mind that your CV is also a declaration that states that all the information you have included is correct to the best of your knowledge. By sending it to any company, you guarantee the truthfulness of the information it contains. You speak English at a communicative level, but you haven’t had a chance to speak for a while? Mention this in your CV. You’ve been studying for five years but haven’t yet found the time for the thesis defense? Let your prospective employer know. Your CV is your showcase; there’s no room for untruths. Trust me – sooner or later (but rather sooner), it will all get out. You can bet on it! Especially the English skills part – most likely as early as during the recruitment meeting.
This is a core principle of recruitment. Be yourself; don’t try to pretend to be someone you’re not. Attending a recruitment meeting means you want to get a new job – you know that. But keep in mind that if you portray yourself in a certain way, the employer will be demanding you to have the set of qualities and skills that you mentioned in the interview. By saying you enjoy dealing with customers, you imply that such tasks are a great challenge for you. Do you really enjoy them, or do you just want to come across well?
Let them see the best in you, but… Do you really have to share stories from high school during the job interview? Or should recruiters know the details of your failed physics exam during college? Not necessarily. They also don’t need to know that your previous employer wasn’t exactly awesome, nor do they need to know the details of the atmosphere surrounding the termination of your contract. Even if you part on less than good terms, try not to project your emotions into the meeting – remember that this is still a business talk. The way you convey information speaks volumes about you.
In a live or online recruitment meeting, it is you who is the guest and the recruiter is the host. They are the ones who lead the conversation, set the context, and impose the tone. So, what do I mean to say with this? If the interviewer addresses you as Mr. or Ms., you should respond in the same way. You may not mind being addressed by your first name, but you should still conform to the proposed style. This is still a professional meeting. The time for bridging the distance will come later.
We aren’t going to state the obvious, such as answering the phone during a meeting, looking up answers on the internet during a Q&A session, or showing impatience (yes, it really does happen sometimes), as we believe these to be the infamous exceptions. The bottom line is to treat each other with the respect everyone deserves, regardless of their profession or years of experience.