J Patrick + Associates Blog

Interview tips- Taking your job search to the next level

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Oct 01, 2010 @ 04:24 PM



Congratulations!  You made it! You talked to an executive recruiter, you sent your resume along, and even passed the initial phone scree.  Now you're one of a few candidates called in for an interview.  To succeed during the interview and move on to the next step it is important to avoid mistakes- the closer you are to the end of the process, the more small mistakes matter.  Here are some common mistakes of job applicants during the interview.  Read them, save them and most important- avoid making them :-)

Impatience and arrogance while waiting for an interview -
your conduct while waiting for an interview can have a strong influence on your success or failure during the interview.  If you are asked to wait a long time before the interview, or fill out various forms, be polite and have patience. If you can not wait - for whatever reason - contact the relevant person, explain yourself, apologize and try to coordinate a new time.


Before going in to an interview - Turn off your cell phone (!)- Do not switch is  to silent, do no switch is to vibrate (do no pass go…) - just turn it off.  Even if you feel the vibration of your cell phone, or hear a beep – you will get distracted; your sequence of speech may be affected as well as your chances of getting the job. "If your wife is supposed to give birth any minute let the interviewer know why you are forced to leave the cell phone is open, otherwise there is no justification for that!


Dress well- even if you're convinced you are God's gift to mankind, you should still dress well.  Do no wear clothes that are wrinkled, tattered, unclean, or not flattering. 

Iron your shirt, press your pants and make sure your shoes are polished.  Your shoe color should match your pants.  If you chose black trousers - it'll be the color of the shoes. If you choose beige or cream colored trousers, wear brown shoes. 

Men- Fix your hair up, make sure you didn’t forget deodorant and mouth wash - and show up with a clean shave.  If you have a beard- make sure it is trimmed and cleaned up. 

Women- should avoid provocative clothing, bright colors, or wild patterns.  Use light day make-up, and if you have nail polish on- make sure it is a low key color.  


First impressions are everything, don’t sound condescending or dismissive - avoid disparaging or condescending behavior. No chewing gum during the interview, No sunglasses on your head (or eyes!), no slouching.  These behaviors show clear disrespect towards the interviewer (and the job), They will not get you hired and will probably get you disqualified before you even walk our of the office. 


Make sure you arrive early- This way you have time to fill out any forms and applications before the scheduled time.  Tardiness is unacceptable.  If due to no fault of your own you are running late, make sure you notify the interviewer as soon as possible (phone call or e-mail), make sure you apologize, try to estimate your new estimated time of arrival, and of course take a queue from the interviewer on whether you should still come in or reschedule.

A note from Gal Natel, the guest Blogger:  I will be writing more on this topic in the next couple of weeks- if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I will be happy to talk to you.