Have you ever wondered what the administrators/employers tell recruiters about you? Employers are definitely more open to recruiters and will tell us things that happened in the interview that they don’t want us to tell you. What are those things?
1. S/he brought their parent/significant other/friend to the interview and s/he came up to the reception area with the candidate. Don’t bring anyone with you to the interview. If someone needs to drive you, just make sure they wait somewhere else.
2. The candidate was rude to the receptionist. Everyone that you meet should be treated the same as the interviewer.
3. The candidate was wearing earrings in their lip/eyebrow/tongue. Never wear any earrings that are not in your earlobes. Men, wear no earrings at all!
4. S/he was not dressed in a professional manner. Do not dress casually, even on Fridays – it is the kiss of death!
5. S/he had on the worst smelling cologne, and it made me sick. Never wear cologne! You never know if the interviewer is allergic or can’t tolerate your scent.
6. I couldn’t believe the candidate was chewing gum. Spit your gum out before your interview – it is better to use breath mints if you need to.
7. I couldn’t believe s/he had a tattoo on their “whatever.” If you have a tattoo, please do not let it show in your interview!
8. S/he talked way too much and drove me crazy. Remember the more you talk, the more you reveal – and that can be bad or good. To be safe, don’t talk too much. As a legal professional you should know to just answer the question – don’t elaborate unless asked to do so. However, not saying enough is bad too.
9. I received a thank you letter handwritten on letterhead/plain paper. It was very unprofessional! Only hand write a thank you letter on a thank you note card and only if your handwriting is legible. Preferably, type your thank you letter.
10. I couldn’t believe the candidate misspelled the firm name in the thank you letter. Always check your spelling and have someone else read your letter.
GOOD RULES OF THUMB
The following are good rules of thumb to make the best impression you possibly can:
1. Be prepared but don’t memorize common interview questions and then recite canned answers.
2. Don’t neglect to research the company or position before the interview.
3. Don’t lie about your experience and knowledge.
4. Don’t try to hide gaps in your work history.
5. Don’t ask too quickly about money and benefits.
6. Don’t reschedule interviews at the last minute or reschedule more than once if at all possible.
7. Never complain about former employers.
8. Don’t forget your professionalism by cursing or telling stories about your personal life during the interview.
9. Don’t arrive with uncombed hair, wrinkled clothing or inappropriate attire.
10. Don’t leave the interview without asking potential employers how you did or asking what information you need from me to keep moving forward.
11. Do arrive 10 minutes early for your interview.
12. If you don’t know exactly where you are going, make a practice run the day before during the same hour you need to be there.
13. Be enthusiastic about the opportunity and company you are interviewing for — Enthusiasm can be a determining factor when you’re up against candidates with similar backgrounds.
14. Interviewing is like a speech or presentation; you need to prepare and practice. You can’t afford to “wing it.”
15. It is okay to not know everything. If you don’t know something, be honest and say something like, “I’m not quite sure …but that is definitely something I can learn quickly.”
16. To project confidence and authority, control your tone of voice, speed of delivery, and volume.
17. In negotiating an offer, some are born with it – others learn it only after being burned. Either way, successful negotiating is a skill worth having throughout the course of your professional life. Learn your “street value” to try and justify your salary requirements.
18. All of this is good information to have but none of the above will help you unless you have and understand the first rule of life: DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!