I’ve had many adventures in interviewing the last few months. Most of my recent interviewing has been for hourly positions in a production environment, but there are a few principles that I think one should observe anytime he or she is seriously hoping to get hired.
Here’s what NOT to do in an interview:
1. Forget your clothing. Summer or not, here’s what I DON’T want to see:
a) Your pedicure – or lack thereof. If I am going to give you a tour of the production floor during the interview (and if I’m serious about hiring you, I am going to do so), I don’t want to be concerned about the fact that your feet aren’t protected. So leave the sandals and flip-flops in the car and come in wearing shoes.
b) Your tattoos – especially the ones the appear to be gang related. Cover up as much as you can.
c) Your knees or shins, either through the rips in your jeans or under your shorts. If you are going to work in a production environment, the general rule is to cover as much skin as possible for safety reasons. Dress as if you already know this. Wear long pants and a shirt with sleeves
d) Your cleavage. If you are going to wear a dress, make sure it covers your shoulders and chest.
2. Avoid eye contact. As an interviewer, I want to make you as comfortable during the interview process as I can. However, I am meeting a complete stranger and trying to decide, within a few minutes, what kind of an employee you would be. You need to help me be comfortable with you to. The person who can’t look at me when he answers a question makes me nervous and suspicious.
3. Complain about the work environment. If the first thing you notice is how hot it is, how much it smells, or how dirty it is, you will probably be considered unlikely to fit in that environment.
4. Lie. Seriously, don’t lie. I had someone tell me he had ONE felony on his record for retail theft, but his record had been clean for the last four years. The background check revealed the retail theft story was true, but the record from then on was far from clear. Violent offenses were listed. A record doesn’t necessarily preclude one from employment, but lying always will. We rejected the one candidate because he lied on his application about who referred him.
5. Party beforehand. If you are seriously searching for work, you can NOT fail a drug test, and you will be tested if you are hired. The excuse that you were slipped something in a drink at a party or that you inhaled second hand smoke from your pot smoking friends won’t help you.
Yes, even in today’s job market, there are still people who don’t seem to be making the slightest effort when looking for a job. Even the entry level jobs require some form of commitment, and that begins the minute you present yourself to the prospective employer.