“Job interviews are like first dates. Good impressions count. Awkwardness can occur. Outcomes are unpredictable”.
How true is that statement? Anyone who has been interviewed before knows that a great first impression is important, it goes without saying that there will be a few awkward silences, and the outcome of the interview is definitely unpredictable, especially if a large pool of individuals are interviewing for the same position. But even though interview outcomes are unpredictable, there are a few steps that can be put in place to ensure that the impression that the interviewer is left with is a positive one.
1. Research where you’re sending your application. I would have to say that one of the most irritating questions to get from an applicant is, “So what is Plan A?”. The person interviewing you shouldn’t have to explain the job that you have applied to. What if they explain the position and you don’t think it’s a fit for you? Now you’ve just wasted their time and yours. A quick Google search or a review of the business’ Facebook page should give you all of the details you need. If it doesn’t, send the company a quick email or call their office and ask about their business and the types of positions they offer to make sure that it’s a good fit for you!
2. Know where you’re traveling to and be sure to give yourself enough time to get there. I often have applicants ask me how I base my decision on who makes the team and who doesn’t. There’s a long list of “A Teamer qualities” that I look for, but punctuality is one of the first on that list. If you don’t show up on time for your interview, how do I know that you’ll show up on time for your shifts? Arriving on time or a few minutes early is a guaranteed way to start off on the right foot with the interviewer!
3. Bring all of the required documentation that they’re requesting. Interviews are usually scheduled a week or two in advance – at the very least a few days. If the company is asking you to bring specific pieces of documentation that are required in order for you to get the job, make sure that you have those documents with you. If you’re not able to gather the documents prior to the interview date, make sure that you’ve informed your interviewer in advance!
When scheduling an interview with someone who has applied to work with Plan A, we make sure to list the pieces of documentation that we require in an email that is sent back to the applicant as soon as their interview date is confirmed. Of course, it varies based on the organization, but we require both of these pieces of documentation from the applicant right away in order to move them through the recruitment process in a timely manner. If we aren’t provided with the documents right away then there’s going to be a delay in their recruitment process, resulting in a lot of wasted time.
4. Be honest and genuine. In most cases, when someone or something seems too good to be true, it’s because they are, and unless you’re meeting with a recruiter that’s new to the position, you’re going to be meeting with someone who conducts interviews ALL. DAY. LONG. It eventually becomes quite easy to see through the fake kindness and recognize their lack of interest in the position; this again results in a lot of wasted time! There’s nothing worse than meeting with someone who seems great and then they show their true colours later on. If the position doesn’t interest you after hearing a bit more about it, tell them that. If you feel like what they’re offering might not be a fit for you, tell them that. There’s nothing wrong with being honest and upfront about what you want. It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but your honesty will be appreciated!
~ Tessa Anderson, Owner/Operator of Plan A York