Chris– Senior Manager of Recruiting, Logistics and Transportation – After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Marketing, Chris spent ten years in Dallas, Texas. In 2010, he joined Walmart as a Sr. Recruiter in the Information Systems Division, before moving to the Global Business Processes team to manage international recruitment. He has been in his current role for 2 years, leading a team of recruiters.
There are plenty of places you can find a list of top 10 common interview blunders. At the top of the lists you’ll find things like being late, dressing inappropriately, not being prepared for interview questions. I’ve found that most of these can be avoided by remembering two important principles: first, be prepared and second, the interview starts earlier than you think.
From the moment you contact the company until you secure your next career step, you are being interviewed. The phone interview, the meet and greet and the possible rejection are all a part of the interview process. Every time you have the opportunity to make an impression on someone at the company, make it a good one.
The most effective way to put your best foot forward? Preparation. Before you apply, do your research. Find out what you can about the company’s operations, culture and mission statement. This will help you decide if the company is right for you and convince others you are right for the company.
During an interview, whether on the phone or in person, be prepared to talk about your work history. To avoid being caught off guard during the interview, prepare four or five examples of success from your work or personal experiences. This way, you don’t get flustered when searching for that perfect example.
What’s even more important than being on time is not looking rushed. Prepare for the unexpected when traveling, even if that travel is local. If a candidate is on time but looks like they just ran from their car, it shows possible issues with time management. Drive by your meeting place to see how long it takes to get there, to park, to get through security. Make sure you dress appropriately, yet comfortably. Doing these things will help you to manage your time, feel relaxed and appear professional.
If you have done your homework, the interview should be a breeze. Give concise and relevant answers and avoid negative statements about previous employers. Ask questions about the career path of the position and the company. And always smile, even on the phone. Positive energy is a good thing.
After the meeting, reach out to your recruiter and thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed, and ask for ways to share your appreciation with other people you met during the process. In the event that you do not get the position, make contact and try to get constructive feedback about what you can improve for your next interview. The next time a job opens up, this extra step might help you seal the deal.