At Betts we have so many brilliant, star employees come through our doors. So it’s always a little surprising to hear that candidates have goofed on an interview by forgetting one of the basics. But here’s the thing; it can happen to anyone! Just like driving away from the pump with your coffee on top of your car or forgetting it’s you’re anniversary, people sometimes forget some basic things. So if you’re currently looking for a job (and even if you aren’t!) here are some basics you should never forget.
1. Dress Code
Never show up to an interview without the proper attire. When you’re making your first (or second) in-person impression it is crucial to come off looking like a polished professional. Make sure your clothes are ironed and well matched (an well fitting!). If you need a reminder on what is or isn’t appropriate to wear, you can look up ‘business professional attire’ online for a complete run down. Even if you know that the company’s culture is to wear hoodies and jeans to work, don’t assume that this is appropriate for your interview. Some employers even have a tell that they look for; a certain thing they check about your appearance that affects whether you appear professional or not in their minds. For example, shined shoes, a well-tied tie, or properly groomed facial hair. For ladies this can be appropriate makeup, hair, or even skin tone (read: not orange!).
2. Chewing gum
Never ever chew gum in an interview. If you’re worried about your breath, pop a mint a few minutes before you go in so it’s gone by the time you start talking about all of your amazing qualifications. This way the employer can focus on all the wonderful things you’re saying instead of what’s rolling around in your mouth. If you’re chewing because you’re nervous, find a different way to cope. Take a few deep breaths or chew your gum before you get there!
3. Bringing things to an interview
There are some things you should never forget, and some things you should always leave at home. The number one thing you should never forget is a resume. A printed copy of your resume is a necessity even if you know that they have one on file or you just sent them an electronic copy that morning. Better to be safe than appear unprepared. A notepad is also often a good thing to take just in case. Some things you should not bring include your own beverages or a noisy cell. If you get thirsty during interviews, make sure to drink water before hand and chances are you’ll be offered some water when you get there as well. But do not bring your own soda or Nalgene and plop it on the desk so you can take swigs between questions. Also, do not bring your noisy cell phone into the interview. A silent cell is ok, but even vibrating can be distracting and disruptive to an interview. Whatever the call is, it can wait for one hour.
4. Ringback tones
Don’t have one. You never know when a potential employer will call you directly before or after an interview, and if she happens to be greeted by Katy Perry’s California Girls, she will not be impressed. Ringback tones (even the generic symphony one) come off unprofessional and make you seem like more of a help hotline or awkward elevator ride than a viable candidate. On the same vein, do not have a joke answering machine message. Your answering machine should be as professional as you would want it to be if the CEO of your dream company heard it.
By Megan Beale, Recruitment Intern