Cancelling an Interview by Tyler Pearl

Getting an interview can be tough. Typically less than 30% of candidates who are submitted or apply for a position make it to the interview stage. It comes as a shock to the hiring manager and recruiter when they invite a great candidate to interview and he or she doesn’t show up or cancels 20 minutes before. As a candidate, maybe not every interview is the one, but there are ways to cancel and be professional at the same time.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The interview is the best time to fully understand the job opportunity and feel out the relationship with the company. The hiring manager saw something in your resume that peeked interest and has set aside time in their busy day to meet with you. Your recruiter has also put a lot of work into setting up the interview for you and preparing you. You took the time to talk with the recruiter and learn about the job. So why would you cancel now?

I understand that things come up. Maybe a more appealing opportunity has presented itself. Maybe you aren’t feeling well. Or perhaps you had forgotten your schedule. If canceling even starts to cross your mind, consider what you and the others involved have put into the process. Respecting your commitment to the interview and the manager’s time is important. You risk burning a bridge with your recruiter, the hiring manager and the company. If you really must cancel, give adequate notice of at least 24-48 hours.

Every interview is an opportunity. Even if the job seems like it may not be your dream job, it is a chance to connect with a manager who shares your passion for the field. Show up on time, be prepared, and you might just leave with the perfect job.

Article by Tyler Pearl

Common Nonverbal Mistakes Made at a Job Interview

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Body language is a powerful tool that should never be neglected.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say”.

Although a lot of focus is placed on the content of the interview, you should be aware of what your body language is saying at all times. Your professionalism should be communicated both verbally and nonverbally.

According to Classes and Careers, the most common verbal mistakes made during a job interview are the following:

 

1. Poor eye contact

Not making sufficient eye contact with your interviewer can be seen as a lack of interest in the job position. Conversely staring can be seen as aggressive and a little ‘creepy’.

Also ensure that your eye movements are not ‘shifty’, as this can signify a lack of confidence and uncertainty. Moreover, it is distracting to the interviewer.

ACTION: Make consistent and frequent eye contact, especially when the interviewer is talking to you. This conveys that you are actively listening.

 

2. Insufficient knowledge about the company

Not knowing enough about the company and the role that you are applying for is the second most common mistake seen by employers.

ACTION: Be prepared! Take the time to research the industry, the company and the people you will be meeting.

 

3. Not smiling

It is normal to be nervous during an interview, but don’t let your nerves override your smile. Remember that your positive attitude will be viral!

ACTION: Keep calm. Ensure that you come across as enthusiastic to be given an opportunity.

 

4. Poor posture

Posture can tell a lot about your overall demeanor, so present yourself well! Leaning back can be viewed as lazy, arrogant or as being uninterested in the discussion. Leaning too forward can be seen as aggressive. Slouching is a definite no-no, as this illustrates the height of laziness.

ACTION: Sit upright, keep your back straight and do not hunch. Beware of coming across like a stiff robot! You may lean forward slightly, to look as if you are fully engaged in the conversation.

 

5. Fidgeting

Fidgeting is a sign of nervous energy that can be distracting to the interviewer. You want the interview to focus on what you are saying and not your fidgeting.

ACTION: Make sure you are conscious of your hands at all times. Do not place your hands behind your back, as this will make you appear stiff.

 

6. Unusual handshake

A weak handshake can be sign as a sign of insecurity, while a strong handshake can be viewed as arrogant. Although it may seem irrelevant, an awkward handshake will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

ACTION: Your handshake should be firm. Improve it with practice!

 

7. Arms crossed over chest

Crossing your arms across your chest signals defensiveness and highlights your feelings of insecurity and uncertainty of your surroundings.

ACTION: Do not cross your arms! Keep your arms at the side of your chest and rest your hands loosely clasped on your lap. This will make you come across as more approachable.

 

8. Playing with hair or excessive use of hand gestures

As with fidgeting, these actions take away the attention from what you are saying.

ACTION: Be aware of your nervous ticks if you have any and keep hand gestures to a minimum. Do not over animate your hand gestures; you are not a cartoon character!

 

9. Bright color and odd attire are off-putting

Your choice of clothes can have a negative impact if they are not consistent with the position and company culture. You are not part of a circus act or on a night out, so do not dress accordingly.

ACTION: While maintaining your style, dress appropriately for the position, company or industry.

4 Reasons You Should Never Burn a Bridge with an Employer | Off The Cuff

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“You never know if you will have to cross that bridge again”

Have you ever had one of those work days where you feel under-appreciated, overworked, miserable or all of the above?  Maybe you took a job only to find out your manager was unethical or possibly even crazy!  Whatever category you fall under, you may have jumped to the solution of walking out with no warning or notice – just up and leave.

I’m sure that instant feeling of freedom is wonderful at first, but what happens next?  Do you have interviews lined up or other opportunities to pursue?  My guess is that this decision was in the moment and not a lot of thought went into the aftermath.

Having seen this situation unfold before, here are a few reasons why you should never burn your bridges.

  1. “Why did you leave your last position?”  Don’t be surprised if this question comes up during a phone screen or interview.  Hiring managers don’t typically offer jobs to candidates who bash their previous employer during an interview (regardless of the reason).  While you can answer professionally without badmouthing your old boss, it will be hard to prove you are a reliable candidate when you left your last job with no notice.
  2. References.  Many hiring managers ask for 2-3 professional references before making a formal offer.  Of the 2-3 they prefer at least one to be from your most recent hiring manager.  Even if you were completely professional in your reason for leaving, telling a hiring manager “Sorry, I won’t be able to get a reference from my last manager because I left without notice” probably won’t get you an offer.
  3. Networking.  Many job seekers put “references available upon request” at the bottom of their resumes, but some managers don’t always need to request one.  It is very possible that they have connections at a company you have previously worked for (especially if it is a direct competitor). Before they even decide to interview you, they will call their connection and get the scoop.  If you left on a bad note, I wouldn’t expect an interview.
  4. The Job Market.  Freedom feels great until you realize you have been unemployed for 2 months.  The job market has been tight these last few years and many have struggled to find the job they want.  While your reasons for leaving may be justifiable, leaving a job with nothing to fall back on is extremely risky.

As bad as your job may seem, try to stick it out until you can line up some interviews. Use your spare time outside of work to find new employment.  At the very least, you have a job with a paycheck and can leave on a good note.  Every situation is different, but in any case it is better to try to build a bridge, not burn it. You never know if you will have to cross that bridge again one day!

5 Common Interview Questions and How To Answer Them

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Ever been on an interview and the interviewer asks you a question and you draw a blank??

Unfortunately, the only way to handle this sticky situation is to go into the interview prepared. Check out these common but tough interview questions and some suggested responses in order to avoid an interview disaster:

So, tell me about yourself?

This is usually the first question in an interview so don’t start it off wrong by telling your whole life history! Your answers should be a brief summary of your qualifications and experience. Talk about your education, work history, recent career experience and future goals.

How would your best friend describe you?

Always keep your answers positive and maybe have a few specific examples in mind. “They’d say I was a hard worker” or even better “Hilary Smith has always said I was the most dynamic, team player she’d ever met.”

What would you say are your  greatest weaknesses?

This question reveals your ability to identify the need for personal improvement. The best responses include turning your weakness into a positive or a presenting a plan on how you’re addressing the weakness. For example, wanting to double-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a positive or address your weakness by saying “Being organized wasn’t my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really improved my organization skills.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Most importantly, the interviewer wants to know that you’re stable and you want to be with their company for the long haul. Keep your aspirations to take over the firm to yourself and answer something more like this “I want to secure a recruiting role with a national firm that concentrates on Engineering placements. I want to grow with the company and one day, manage my own recruitment team.”

Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.  

Give solid examples of difficult situations that actually happened at work – then talk about what you did to solve the problem. Keep your answers positive and be specific “Even though it was a difficult time when Ben quit without notice, we were able to rearrange the department workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.”

Now that you’re acquainted with these common but difficult questions, you can walk into that interview feeling confident! Good luck!

Posted on by Katie Davis |http://www.daviscos.com/blog/5-common-interview-questions-answer/#.U7sB_2co7IV