If you missed the LIVE on Facebook with Sharisse on February 27th then here is another opportunity to get all her tips on mastering the interviewing process:
Just jumping out the park, what are your top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts you would tell a prospective employee when they attend an interview?
Dress in business attire.
Make sure your resume, social media profiles and your true work experience are in sync and reflect dates including month and year attached.
Greet everyone on your way to the interview with a smile and acknowledge them.
Don’t go for tight shoes, tight clothing, bright or loud colours.
Don’t forget to control your non-verbals – poise, posture, eye contact.
Don’t mention a weakness that you cannot improve, mention one that can work for you – e.g. taking too long on a task but striving for perfection.
Is it necessary to bring extra copies of your resume to an interview?
YES, YES, YES – I am always delighted to see the person with their resume in hand, even for your benefit a last minute review is always good.
Should you ever ask about salary, benefits, vacation allowance at an interview?
I think it is important to ask about salary, benefits and vacation allowance. At the second stage, it is worth mentioning any booked holiday if the interview is going to a stage where you think you might be a strong candidate.
What do you think is the number one trait an HR Manager is looking for from a candidate at an interview?
As an HR Consultant, I am always looking for someone with confidence in their competence. Often times, candidates are not presenting themselves as a good fit for the role. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to come across overzealous or as a I know what you want.
A good place to be is confident, calm and willing to learn or adapt.
What are some common questions interviewers ask that all candidates should prepare and know how to answer beforehand?
Candidates should always have a background knowledge of the company – including their outlets, line of work, maybe even their competitive advantage in their industry.
Candidates should know their strengths in relation to the job role and be able to give examples using past work experience.
Candidates should also be able to talk about their weaknesses, or as I prefer to say not-so-strengths, with their back against the chair and good eye contact. Mention it as something that may also work for you in the role you are applying for. However, there are other types of weaknesses, employers are now asking about – how are you managing work-life balance, will you learn the ins and outs of the job quickly enough and how are you going to ensure that you get on board as quickly as possible.
An outstanding client has prepared his/her documents of certification in order of achievement, and relevance to the role, walks in with a smile, and is ready to have a discussion about his/her relevant work experience and career goals.
I think a candidate should also be ready to discuss, their future goals and how the role may assist them in achieving them. For instance, knowledge of the industry, working with a larger team etc.
An interview always makes people nervous and that poses an opportunity where they may not do well at the interview. Can you suggest any tips or techniques to calm nervousness and excel at the interview?
My best tip for calming nervousness is to dress for your interview the day before and let someone in the family or someone equipped with career interviewing skills, give you feedback on your interviewing skills.
In the moment, to calm nervousness, I would take an uber to the location or ask about parking, get to the interview 30 mins before, and picture the interview process, remind yourself of your qualifications, or certification that lead you to apply for the job. I think nervousness comes from a lack of preparation, or a lack of confidence.
Remember you are here to show your best self and this is just a chat, so don’t it more than it is, otherwise you would be overwhelming yourself thinking about what ifs, and why nots.
As a personal branding consultant, how much weight would you give to the image of a potential candidate. Do you think HR Managers will not hire purely on the way a person is dressed?
Oh most definitely, image is everything. I remember my travels and noticing the differences in dress across the major cities in Europe. Milan, Paris and London, your shoes tell a lot about your profession. Work attire is absolutely important, and your coat or jacket would be the icing on the cake. I have never seen a candidate in a full suit in Trinidad. I have even seen people come to interviews in a pair of jeans, believe it or not. I mean that is a sure way to fail at an interview if you asked me.
I want to mention something here as well, even as an interviewee I am judging the interviewer. As a consultant you want to know what the lay of the land is in the company. We are in an economic recession, and you want to have clear guidelines on your contract etc but you can also think about the way your interviewer is dressed.
Image is also important on your social media profiles, we have to be mindful that people are watching us and integrity is more of a rarity than we would like to acknowledge. So be sure that your image is consistent with your job/career goals.
Qualifications are great…. but most HR Managers want to hire an individual that can make a positive impact. Let’s say you are applying for the position of a Sales Manager or Production Manager, what advise would you give that client to make their interview stand out in the minds of the HR Manager? What traits or qualities about themselves should they discuss?
I think every company is at a different stage of development in relation to the industry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debbie-Ann Jollie is a marketing communications executive with more than 10 years experience creating marketing strategies and promotional campaigns for a diverse array of corporate clients and first time entrepreneurs.