“The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.”– Bill Gates, Microsoft
Job interviews can be excruciatingly daunting, especially if it is your first time. There is a nagging fear of a billion things that could go wrong, resulting in a loss of an opportunity.
Not many candidates who get rejected understand what exactly prevented them from getting hired. Here are a few mistakes which are immediately registered as a red flag by potential recruiters which can drastically reduce and even ruin your chances of getting hired. Remember these little things before your next interview to improve your employability.
1. Badly made resume
Your resume is your first impression in front of a potential employer. You cannot afford to let anything go wrong here else you will be immediately rejected without the slightest consideration.
Your resume speaks volumes about you and hence everything has to be perfect. Proofread it to ensure that there are no spelling errors, typos, grammatical errors or extra spaces. Ensure that it is well structured and there is ample white space to content ratio for a pleasing appearance. Be professional in your use of colors, fonts, styles etc.
Lying on your resume or at your interview will take you nowhere. Be it your qualifications, previous employment records or previous salaries, lying about anything will only spell disaster.
The hiring company is sure to run a little background check on you before making the final decision and this is where you will be rejected immediately. No one is immune from the consequence of lying. Recently the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo, Scott Thompson was fired for lying on his resume.
3. Dressing inappropriately
Actress Ginger Rogers once said, “I believe in dressing for the occasion”. When you are applying for a job, it is always a good idea to dress formally, unless mentioned otherwise. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and well fitting.
Most people focus on the clothes only and mess up the accessories. Make sure that your shoes and other accessories like tie, bag, belt etc are clean and professional too. A survey on dressing right for job interview conducted by UK based career management organization, TheLadders revealed that 37% of senior executives conducting interviews decide against hiring a candidate based on the way they were dressed.
4. Trying to be over smart
A job interview is the last place you want to appear cool. Give to the point answers and be professional, there is no need to be arrogant or annoyingly smug.
Be polite and professional. For example, if you are asked why you want this job, you need to present a well researched answer on the company or the job profile and what sparks your interest. Answering something cheeky like “Because I am broke” will most likely get you rejected.
5. Social media content
You might have had a great time partying during college days, but before you apply for a job, it is best to clean up your social media profile. However professional and brilliant you might have been, during the interview, all that work can be ruined by a simple social media search.
If you have explicit content or photos of you engaging in wild partying, partaking illegal drugs or obscenely dressed, you might just be rejected immediately. Complaining about the 9-5 grind of professional life or negative comments on your professors/previous employers does not portray you in a good light either.
6. Using your phone
Although it is common sense, somehow people seem to never understand this simple thing. Make sure you keep your phone in your pocket or bag when you are appearing for the interview. Fidgeting with your phone will immediately reduce your chances of getting hired because it is considered disrespectful and impatient.
Keep your phone on silent, if not airplane mode, to ensure that your phone does not interfere with the interview. It is extremely rude and unprofessional if your phone rings in the middle of the interview. Often people do not realize that even a vibration can be clearly heard in a closed room hence it is best to not put your phone on vibration.
Before you apply for a job, it is important to take into consideration the reasons why you want the job. Make sure you are right for the job and job is right for you else you might not be able to do well at the interview. Don’t try to create a fake image of being suitable as your recruiters will immediately see though the façade.
Moreover, you must do a thorough research of the company, its policies, philosophy, work culture so that you do not appear ignorant and sloppy and after couple of days back from the interview, you can send a thank you email to your potential employer and show your interest in the company and your role. With a bit of smart strategy, your chances of getting hired increases exponentially.