Interview Preparation: A Corporate Recruiter’s View

I’ve looked at your resume and hundreds of others for this position.

Most of the candidates who submitted their resumes weren’t qualified or as we say in the world of recruiting “not a good fit.”

I like the way your resume and cover letter are written. Your years of experience and education are well presented. Either you are a good resume writer or you chose a good writer. I am selecting you and a few others to screen for a telephone interview.

The hiring manager is calling or coming down to my office on a daily basis to see if I have found any candidates that meet the vacant job criteria. The hiring manager seems to think that this job is the only one I have to fill in the whole company!

I call you to conduct a brief pre-screening interview. You did okay. I didn’t expect you to do well. After all, you weren’t prepared for my call.

You come in for the scheduled interview with me. You’re a little nervous.

You see me and wonder why you were nervous. I have one of the nicest smiles you’ve seen on a recruiter in a long time and my professional demeanor is non-threatening and even friendly.

I begin the interview. You answer the questions. I make you feel so relaxed that you almost feel like you’re talking to someone you’ve known a long time.

After a few more questions, I end the interview.

I shake your hand while saying, “I have a few more candidates to interview before deciding who comes back for the second interviews with the hiring manager. I’ve enjoyed meeting you. Thanks for coming in. You will be hearing from us.”

You tell those close to you how feel good about this interview. One week later, you get a rejection letter from me on behalf of the company.

You feel awful. You thought you aced the interview. What happened?

The possibilities are endless on what could have happened in this scenario to prevent you from getting the job. However, as a former Corporate Recruiter who gets frequent calls to perform contract recruiting for major companies and owner of an interview preparation service, I can share with you two of the most common mistakes experienced and new job seekers make.
The first is they let their guard down by talking to the interviewer like a friend or buddy. While most recruiters are friendly and personable and would really like for you to be a fit for the job because they have several others to fill, they are not your friend.

Your friend may find it humorous that you cite examples why you considered your boss a pain in the rear end. Even if your recruiter laughs at your comments about your boss during the interview, such open display of negativism may rule you out as a contender for a prospective job.

The second common mistake is lack of real interview preparation. You may have prepared yourself by knowing about the job description or the products and services of a company but how do you come across when you state these facts. Do you sound as if you are reciting memorized facts?

Good interviewing skills can be achieved with practice and patience. Consider not only investing in a good resume writer but investing in the services of a good interview preparation coach or specialist as well. It’s worth the time and can mean the difference between whether a recruiter grants you a second interview or a polite rejection. And above all else, stay positive in the job hunt!

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