No cell phone: The same way it’s rude to have one out at the dinner table, you definitely don’t want one out during an interview. It also must be off or on silent mode. Even a vibrating cell phone can be really distracting and rude as you’re going through an interview. A lot of people use their cell phones as they are waiting for their interviewer. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s better to observe the environment around you versus being buried in your phone.
Arrive on time: Punctuality in the interview process is a non-negotiable. As discussed here, there is a such thing as arriving too early (though it won’t hurt you, it will probably just be a little awkward to wait so long). The optimal time to arrive is probably around 10-15 minutes prior to an interview. If you are running late due to an unforeseen event, traffic jam, etc. make sure you call and email to let your interviewer know.
Don’t waste anyone’s time: This means only go into an in-person interview if you care about the job and you’re willing to put in some effort learning about it and the company. If you are going to take up a half hour of someone’s time, at least know (based on a little research) that the job is one you’d actually consider. Of course, I’d also say only apply for jobs you’d actually consider as well.
Basic Interview Etiquette
Going back to basics, this post is going to cover standard interview etiquette. This is etiquette that applies across industries and regardless of what level job you’re interviewing for. While it’s not guaranteed, it is likely that not following these 5 will knock you out of the interview process quickly.
There are some things you should say when you’re job searching, and there are others that are better left unsaid. It’s always important to keep your job search positive, even if you don’t feel great about yourself or having to find a new job.
Negativity is easy to pick up during a job interview, and employers don’t want to hire negative, cranky, or difficult people. There is power in positivity and companies want to hire employees who do their best to look on the bright side and avoid complaining.
The words you use during networking meetings and interviews should reflect a positive outlook, as well as your enthusiasm for being considered for a job or a referral.
If you come across as negative, if your ability to carry on a conversation is limited, or if your vocabulary is punctuated by slang, acronyms, and too many fillers such as “umm” or “like” or “you know” it’s not going to make the best impression.
What to Say When You’re Interviewing and Networking
What to say to networking contacts and hiring managers is relatively simple. It’s important to keep it professional and to avoid anything too personal.
The person interviewing you doesn’t need to know about your personal life, your family, your friends, your politics, or anything else unrelated to employment. The interviewer may ask questions like “What are you passionate about?” To learn more about you and how you would fit in with the company culture, but let them bring it up first.
Then carefully respond to any inquiries, keeping the focus as much on work as possible.
There’s no need to volunteer personal information. Sharing too much can hinder your chances of getting hired if it raises a red flag about your availability or your qualifications for the job. The bottom line is that the hiring manager wants to know why you are qualified for the job, and that’s what you should highlight in your conversations.
Take the time to match your qualifications to the job, and focus on your strongest credentials.
With networking contacts, it depends. When you’re meeting or talking to a business contact, the same rules as discussing personal information with an interviewer apply. Keep it professional. If you know the person you’re connecting with personally, and well, it’s fine to share more.
By now, you probably know that searching for a job takes a lot of time. But, it also takes a lot of focus. After a couple of hours of job searching – of clicking through to the very last page of job listings; of writing and re-writing cover letter after cover letter – you’ll likely to be tempted to switch gears and check your Facebook, read the news or scroll Instagram. But those minutes of wasted time add up, and after a couple of weeks, they can seriously cut into your job search productivity.
6 Super Simple Ways to Maximize Your Job Search Productivity
1. Create a job search plan. Don’t just job search whenever, wherever. Analyze your weekly schedule and find windows of time for job searching, then block out that time and stick to your schedule. If you’re super busy, know that you may need to be creative about finding time to look for a job. Perhaps you can sneak in an hour before breakfast, after dinner or on the weekends.
It can also be helpful to break down the job search process into different categories: for example, maybe on Monday you look for jobs for two hours; on Wednesday, you draft and review your materials and submit your applications; and you use Fridays for follow-ups.
2. Make your “dedicated” job search time truly dedicated. Once you’ve found that window of time, don’t let everyday distractions dig into it. If possible, hole up at the library or at a cafe – some place where two hours can truly be two hours, not two hours minus 30 minutes walking the dog or 15 minutes making your kids lunch.
It’s especially important to work in an environment where you can focus, so you can avoid making silly mistakes (like typos in your resume, submitting a cover letter you wrote for a different position, or misreading the application requirements) if you’re distracted.
Job searching can feel very regimented: There are guidelines for resume and cover letter formats that extend down to the smallest details, such as your font choice. Once you make it to the interview stage, there’s an expectation that you’ll have prepared answers to common interview questions.
No wonder job search documents can become repetitive and formulaic, and interview answers may sound over-rehearsed.
Preparation and following job search norms are essential. But that doesn’t mean that your application materials and interview answers should be stripped of all personality. Sharing fun facts about yourself distinguishes you from the crowd, and can make you a stronger, more appealing candidate.
The Value of Fun Facts in Your Job Search
Say you perform as a stand-up comedian on weekends — sharing that detail lets employers know you’re quick-witted and comfortable in front of a crowd. That’s a useful skill for any job that requires public speaking. Even a hobby of building model trains on the weekend can showcase patience for details.
Fun facts are a path to sharing relevant abilities and transferable skills. Mentioning them also helps transition interviews from a question-and-answer format to something a bit more conversational. Fun facts can give employers a sense of your full self (beyond your in-office persona).
Direct managers and co-workers are often particularly eager to get a sense of what candidates are like both in the cubicle and also at client dinners, late nights at the office, or early morning coffee runs.
There can be many reasons why you’re thinking about starting a job search, and there are plenty of good reasons to quit your job. Your career with your current employer could feel like it’s going nowhere, you’re bored and the position isn’t challenging, you would love to make more money, or perhaps you want to do something different with the next phase of your working life.
Find Out What Jobs Are Available
Before you think about starting an active job search, turning in your resignation, and giving two weeks notice, take some time to investigate what the job market is going to be like for someone with your credentials.
Job searching is a personal endeavor, and even a good job market overall might not translate into success for you if you lack in some of the top skills employers are looking for.
That’s why it makes sense to spend some time researching if you don’t have to find a job immediately. Start slowly, find out what positions are available, and learn how you stack up against the competition. Consider starting a passive job search while you’re investigating options and getting prepared. Employers may start seeking you out and, if they do, that will make your job search even easier.
Factors to Consider
The first factor to consider when starting a job search isn’t the unemployment rate, which is currently low. It’s what the job market is like for a candidate with your skills, experience, and education level. That depends on what type of position you’re seeking and the qualifications you have. It can be a little more complicated to figure out if you’re considering a career change or a job that’s a step or two up from your current role.
There is a wealth of data online you can use to discover what you’re worth, what salary you should be looking for, which companies are hiring candidates like you, and what the pool of available job openings is like.
Review these tips for checking on the job market before starting a job search, so you’ll be well informed and in a position to fast-track your hunt for a new job.
How to Check Out the Job Market
1. Figure Out What You Want to Do. Do you want a job in the same industry or are you looking for a change? Would you like a similar position to the one you have or are you considering a different role? Do you have the skills you need to be competitive if you’re making a change? If you’re thinking about a career switch, use these free career quizzes to generate some ideas. Once you have a list of options, you’ll be able to determine how easy it will be to find a new job in that field.
2. Estimate How Long It Will Take. One of the tricky parts of job searching is that it can be hard to calculate how long it will take to find a new job. The more you earn, the longer it can take. Candidates in a high-level position typically spend more time getting hired than an entry level applicant. Your qualifications need to closely match the jobs for which you’re applying to up your chances of getting hired quickly.
3. Find Out What You’re Worth. There are free salary calculators you can use to determine how much you are worth in today’s marketplace. Input your job title, company, location, education, and experience to get customized estimates of your salary potential.
4. Check Out Job Listings. Once you know what you want to do, and how much you want to make, you can use the advanced search options to find job listings. Search by job title, experience, education, location, salary range, type of position, and more criteria to narrow down your options.
5. Start Networking. Networking can help you learn more about the job market, and it can help you get hired. It can also help you find out more about possible career options, get the inside scoop on companies and jobs, and connect with people who can boost your career. If you haven’t built a robust career network, now is the time to get started on getting one in place. COMPLETE ARTICLE