Acing the interview is not enough!

The days of the Crisis are fast becoming a thing of the past and more and more candidates are getting invited for job interviews.  Whilst doing well in the interview is arguably one of the most important factors in securing the job, creating the right impression from the outset is also paramount. Having a positive attitude and acting in a professional way throughout the recruitment process is key in the formulation of the image the recruiter has for a particular candidate.

Always remain keen and positive

Through my experience in recruitment, I have witnessed candidates who instead of being keen and positive to have been invited for an interview for the position they have applied for, they come across as difficult prioritizing their personal needs and expectations instead of their future employer’s – indeed, it is not uncommon for some candidates to demand that the time, process and place of the interview suits their personal needs, with no flexibility to meet the future employer half-way.

It is my understanding, that candidates don’t always appreciate the negative impact that this may have on their chance to secure the job.

What makes a candidate suitable?

Whilst the recruitment process aims to be fair and just, awarding the position to the most suitable individual, ‘suitability’ is not always an equation of how many qualifications the candidate has obtained, or how many languages they have proficiency in. Recruiters and employers alike are looking for the most suitable candidate in the face of someone who besides the experience and qualifications is also flexible, cooperative, and reliable.

Project a professional image from the start

When applying for a job, candidates must bear in mind that the selection process starts from the very first contact the recruiter/future employer has with a candidate.

It is natural that people who project a professional and positive image and who show eagerness for the opportunity offered will be considered more favourably, as these are positive traits that people respond to.

In addition, it is important to remember that the image thatwe project to our future employer should be consistent with all the parties involved, regardless of whether we will be working with them directly or not. People commonly make the mistake of being very polite during the interview, but not making as much of an effort with future colleagues. Usually the future colleagues will inform the recruiters of this behaviour, which may have an adverse impact on the outcome of the selection process.

Be punctual

When selecting a candidate, recruiters and employers will also take the candidate’s punctuality into consideration. It is of course a possibility that a candidate may be late because of a valid reason; however, communication is key in managing such unpredictable instances. Letting the recruiters know in advance and apologizing for the delay, is definitely the correct way of dealing with such unforeseen circumstances, and acts as reassurance that as a candidate you care about this job. Not showing up for an interview without warning and explanation can destroy a candidate’s chances of getting a job at that company or possibly others too in the future.

In a nutshell, I would advise candidates to treat an interview as a formal social interaction and I would highlight the importance of applying your communication and interpersonal skills to create a positive and favourable image for yourself, and really showcase what you could be bringing to the employer’s table. Whilst having the right skills and knowledge is strategic in securing the job, what will set you apart from other candidates is your ability to demonstrate an effortlessly positive and polite demeanor, with a genuine eagerness and appetite to fully engage and secure the job.