by Catherine Pratt
So, you’re preparing for a job interview and you think you’ve got everything covered. But have you? Have you remembered these 7 basics points which will speak far louder than your resume ever will?
You’d be surprised at how many people forget these ones. I know because my friend is trying to hire a part time nanny right now. It’s amazing the stories she tells me of people who have good resumes but she ends up rejecting them for some pretty basic reasons. It gave me the idea to write this article as it’s easy to think all you have to do is have a good resume and you’ll get that job. But, if you’re going to go to all that effort with all the other things you do for preparing for a job interview, doesn’t it make sense not to miss the little things that could make it or break it for you?
1. Your Email Address
If you provide a potential employee with an email address, make sure it’s a professional sounding email account. Your email address gives a definite impression of you. So, if you have something like klepto at hotmail.com or sparklebunny at hotmail.com or lazybones at hotmail.com it does not look good. What seems funny to you and your friends is not going to amuse a potential employer. This could be used as a reason to reject you outright.
2. Your Voice Mail
If you’re expecting a call back from a potential employee, make sure your voice mail message is professional. Also, make sure there’s enough room left for them to leave you a message. If they call and they hear, “sorry, mailbox is full” they’re not going to be calling you back as it gives a very negative impression of you.
3. Respond Promptly
If you do get a message, first of all congratulations, but don’t blow it by not calling them back. Return their call as soon as possible. Waiting a week and then calling back gives the impression you’re not interested. If you call and they’re not there, leave a concise, polite voice mail message so they at least know you got the message and that you’re interested. Make sure you mention your name, your phone number and what your call is in regards to. This is not a good message to leave, “Hi, We’ve been trying to connect. I’ll be home tonight and tomorrow morning, after that I can’t guarantee I’ll be home. Bye”
If you’re not interested, call them back and let them know that so that they’re not waiting for you to call. Even if you’re not interested now, you never know where that person will end up. They may be on the hiring panel when you do get the call for a job you really, really want and they’re going to remember you. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.
4. Don’t Lie
If you don’t have the required documentation like references or security clearances, don’t lie and say they’re on the way. You may think that the person is desperate enough to hire you without waiting and then you’ll be in. This doesn’t work. You’ll just end up being caught in your lie and your credibility is ruined forever. Instead, be truthful. Nothing annoys potential employers more than being lied to. They’ve also wasted time waiting for those documents that you knew were never going to appear. Yes, you may not get the job if you tell the truth. But, you also might get it for being upfront about it and they may be willing to work around it with you. Definitely won’t happen if you lie.
5. Be Polite
Not sure why people would forget this one but according to my friend, apparently they do. So, here goes, always be polite. Try to think about how you would like to be treated. Please and thank you go a long way. Be respectful of the other person and they will be respectful of you too.
6. Be On Time
Being "fashionably late" doesn't exist when you're going for a job interview. Be on time. If you can’t avoid it and you’re going to be late, at least give them a courtesy call letting them know.
Let your enthusiasm show. If you have no energy and are just dragging yourself there, it will show. If a company has the option between choosing someone with the skills but with no energy and someone who doesn’t quite have all the skills but has a lot of enthusiasm, they will choose the enthusiastic one every time. You can teach people the skills and knowledge to do a job. Personality and high energy is much harder to teach someone and it's valued more highly than simply how many courses you've taken.
Also, here's a great quote to remember:
Preparing For A Job Interview Summary
Preparing for an interview means remembering even the little details. It is so important to pay attention to what kind of impression you’re providing to a potential employer with your actions for they truly do speak louder than your resume. You’ve got the awesome resume, don’t ruin it by making mistakes like the ones above.
If you need some help on writing a professional looking resume, then check out Professional Resume Example (opens in new window). This site provides a ton of free information and even provides valuable templates for you to use. This is a highly recommended resource if you're working on your resume.