Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Managing Your Interviewer's Impression

I must admit that in my years of experience in the HR practice, I noticed that recruitment professionals have certain preference in applicants that often affect their hiring decisions. It isn't really just the recruitment people, even the hiring decision makers or the ones who do the final interview have certain stereotypical mindset about ideal candidates. Because of this they sometimes lose out on good candidates that do not fit their picture of that ideal candidate. Their loss, right? If it is a desirable job, it is your loss too!

Here are some suggestions that may or may not get you the job that you want but will unlikely ruin your chances. Ready?
  • Don't be late. need I say more? I know, sometimes it feels like the traffic and the rest of the universe is conspiring to make you late so make sure that you don't give them a chance to succeed. Wake up early and go to your interview early. If you come in too early, you can always kill time somewhere near and then come up to the client's office when it's near the time. If you are five to 10 minutes early, that will be very good.
  • Make an effort to look good. Be in a business attire even if you are applying for a job that includes manual labor. Recruiters will never find you at fault for being well groomed. On the other hand, if your recruiter is more discriminating, you're looking like you were just told to buy something in the store may not sit well with her.
Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job
  • Be warm and upbeat. Look happy. Nobody wants to hire someone who looks like she's about to have a nervous breakdown. Here's something that I learned from a Neuro Linguistic Programming seminar. Before you go to a meeting, stand upright, raise your chin a little bit and walk like a king... or a queen. Walk like you are already a winner. Before you get to the recruiter's office your body will react as if you are already a true winner. My own ritual. Before an important meeting, I would go to the rest room and look at myself in the mirror and manage a good smile. I bring that smile up to the receptionist and then to the person I'm meeting. Try it, it helps.
  • Know a little more than the name of the company and the position you are applying for. Recruiters are always willing to explain the company and the position but they are secretly impressed if you are able to answer the question "what do you know about our company?" This means you did some research before you went to the interview. Take note of crucial information like the nature of business, the company's achievements and special distinctions that they have gathered through the years.
  • Prepare an answer that in effect says you are the perfect candidate for the job without sounding arrogant about it. Recruiters like confident candidates but a lot of them despise arrogance. Focus on relevant experience, achievements that mirror their expectations and showing them that you know your craft.
  • Be friendly to everyone you meet in the company, from the security guard, the receptionist, everyone you come across with. It will certainly not hurt to do that and it might give you a very important endorsement after your interview is finished. Remember, your recruiters talk to those people you met along the way and will listen to their opinion if they give any. It would be best if you are able to give a positive impression that they can rave about when they talk to your recruiter. You know the opposite of that.
I'll stop here for now. Keep tuned in for more tips.


  1. Sir Ed,

    Just a question. What about an Overseas Call Interview? I hope you can also give your insights.

    Let me share this post again.

    Thanks for an awakening post.

  2. @Mel. Will write about that real soon :)



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