How NOT to get the job

Think you’re great? Think again. No one likes pushy arrogant candidates.
Think you’re great? Think again. No one likes pushy arrogant candidates.

Poor attitude in an interview is only the start of it... here are the Top 5 No No's...



3 April 2008

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As recruitment professionals meet with candidates who are unsuccessful in actually landing positions that they are applying for, and talk to employers about the behaviours of job seekers that have them reaching for the PFO letter, a number of traits have emerged that simply turn off employers.

Think you’re great? Think again. No one likes pushy arrogant candidates.

Think you’re great? Think again. No one likes pushy arrogant candidates.

The following is a list of behaviours compiled from bad moves of dozens of real life job seekers and ways to guarantee to make a negative impression on employers. If you employ any of the following traits in the recruitment process, maybe you should have a rethink about your recruitment strategy and perhaps your attitude!

No No number one – Get more information

Before you apply for a job, make sure you’re not going for a position that’s beneath you. When you see an advertisement for a job, call the employer and demand to speak to the person in charge of the recruitment process. When you get them on the phone (if necessary by multiple calls) give them a grilling about the position. Ask questions such as ‘What is the salary?’ ‘What are the holiday entitlements?’ or ‘How big will my office be?’ Sign off by telling the employer to fax you a job specification.

No No number two – Send a fantastic cover letter, all about you

Why not kick off your cover letter with a statement like ‘this is the job for me’ or ‘this is the job I have been looking for’.
Then perhaps go on to outline that you are looking for a ‘financially rewarding position to gain experience to pursue your interests’ or state your minimum salary requirements that you need and the benefits you expect. Or better still why not bother writing a cover note, your Curriculum Vitae should be enough, the employer should be lucky to receive it.

No No number three – Keep communicating repeatedly

Phone and email the company repeatedly asking to find out more about the job. Contact the company to ask for help in filling in the on-line application form. Call them to see did they get your application and when you are going to be called for interview. Ask them what you should wear to the interview, and after the interview, chase the company for feedback or to find out when they will be making a decision.

No No number four – Take control of the interview

Why not arrive late so you are not waiting for the interviewer. During the interview fire off a couple of intelligent questions like ‘What does this company do?’ and then when they tell you, tell them ‘by recruiting me, I will help the company achieve real success’. Explain to them that you have never heard of them or known of them until you saw the jobs advertised. When the employer asks what you can do for them, keep them guessing by answering with vague generalisations.

During the actual interview, try interrupting the interviewer repeatedly. If they try to make a point while you’re talking, ignore them and just talk louder, what is most important is that you get your point across. Or why not better still, take out you diary and start making notes through the interview.

Make sure you keep your phone on during the interview, getting a few calls will make them see how in demand you are.
Why not swear when talking about something you feel passionate about, that will accentuate the point and really get it across?

No No number five – Follow up the interview

After the interview contact the recruitment manager immediately saying you’re looking for feedback on how you did so they can reassure you that you did a great job. If they are reluctant to give feedback, be persistent, get the information, keep on contacting them, the information could help you in future interviews.

When you do get feedback, if you don’t agree, argue with them as to why their assessment is incorrect and if you argue strongly enough, maybe you can change their minds and they will hire you. Better still, write to their boss outlining their mistake and why you should be offered the job. Keep persisting here, take it all the way to the top, and contact the MD.

If you don’t get the job you’re going for, apply for every other position that comes up in the company that might be remotely related to your experience. Persistence is the key, sell sell sell.

Barry Whelan is managing director of Excel Recruitment




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