Although unemployment rates in America have been slowly decreasing over the last few months, the competition in the job market is still at an all time high. I have been working as a recruiter for over 20 years and see very competent people make simple interview mistakes that cost them the job.
In November and December 2010, CareerBuilder conducted a national survey of more than 2,400 hiring managers. The survey questioned the managers on what mistakes job candidates made most often during interviews which resulted in them not being hired. Seventy-one percent of the managers reported that candidates answering cell phone calls during the interview was their biggest deal breaker. Dressing inappropriately was reported by 69 percent of the managers, and appearing disinterested was mentioned by 66 percent of the managers.
Not all interviewees make their fatal error during the actual interview. One story that stands out in my mind was when I called a woman who had sent me her resume. She was temporarily employed at a coffee shop part-time while looking for full- time employment and had the perfect resume. I called her to set up an initial interview and she answered her phone, and asked me to please give her a moment. The next thing I heard was her taking several customer coffee orders and preparing the drinks, all while keeping me on hold! Obviously, she had not learned job-search etiquette.
During your job search remember that professionalism is of the utmost importance. You are not only being interviewed for your work skills but also for other things such as your ability to handle pressure, your communication skills, and your manners. Just relax and be yourself. Make sure you are alert and prepared when you answer a potential employer’s call. And of course, don’t forget to promptly follow-up with a thank you note or email!
Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicago area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.