IntroductionThe interview is a big test of skill. It is foolish to think that employers look at the candidate only during the interview. The room in which the candidates are seated can also throw up many clues as to how prospective candidates will behave. In fact, there are even secret cameras installed to monitor the behavior of candidates, in some companies. Hence it is very important to follow some ground rules and avoid the six major mistakes. These are a) Never chat aloud and show off b) Do not appear nervous c) Never criticize the atmosphere d) Never argue with company staff e) Never ask for special favors and f) Never share your employment details with others.
Never chat aloud and show offThe interview venue is not a venue for any romance. It is not a venue where you can even think of impressing a girl candidate. In this connection, never chat aloud. This will disturb the office atmosphere and the interviewers may as well gather information from the coordinators about your behavior, and this will work against you. Never ever underestimate any coordinator. They may not even speak good English. But for all you know, they are generally very shrewd people who work in the HR department and have solid experience of having seen hundreds of candidates like you.
Similarly, do not try to impress other candidates with your knowledge or even contacts in the organization. This is actually a sign of weakness. It can work very much against your interest, now or later. Remember, you are constantly being watched. Hence be very careful here.
Never appear nervousIr is fine if you engage in some small conversation with the candidate seated next to you. This might remove your fear. If it is your first interview, keep your mind very calm and everything will fall in place. If you are nervous and others notice it, they might as well talk something very discouraging and you might as well be locked up in non-value adding conversation. However, do not attempt to hide your nervousness by discussing State or Central level politics or about the economy and so on. This will and can lead to further complications. Hence, you need to be very cool and also appear cool to others. Do not overdo anything. Just be normal and this will help you a great deal.
When you are nervous and it is noted by the coordinator, such feedback will reach the big bosses even before you attend the interview. Never comb your hair in the interview room or do any makeup. This will simply lead to negative feedback, even in your first interview.
Never criticize the atmosphereMany companies that are not situated in the metro cities, and have factories manufacturing cement, paper, sugar and so on, at places that are quite far away from the nearest cities, do not have fancy furniture or air-conditioning in any of their interview venues. At best, there could be some plastic chairs. You will get some tea or coffee and the interviews may take place only in the afternoon. If you are being interviewed in such locations, have a tremendous amount of patience. The companies will keep a close watch on your behavior. The atmosphere may never be to your liking. However, that is no reason for you to be frustrated and criticize any aspect with other candidates waiting to be interviewed, or with the coordinator. This will ruin your chances and you may never be successful in the interview. It is also quite natural that your mindset will psychologically put you off, even before your actual interview.
In today's conditions, you ought to understand that life is very hard and very competitive. Even small mistakes that you do will only pull you down, and you may never ever be able to compete successfully. Furthermore, your attitude building should start by adjusting to any shortage, anywhere. If you want any evidence, go to Mumbai at least for a visit. No one ever complains of any shortages. As many as six of a family may live in one single room. But they will still be happy. Remember, the interview is one important place to display your positive attitude.
Never argue with company staffRemember the famous saying: beggars cannot be choosers. If you want a good career, you need to be very patient. You just cannot decide the order in which you will be interviewed. The bosses might not call you for the interview in the order you thought they will. One candidate who had arrived later than you might be called. It is unwise to argue with the coordinator as to why this has happened. It might just be that the boss sitting in the room, had seen his resume ahead of yours. Or, someone up there, was impressed with some aspect of the other person's resume.
Arguing with the coordinator is one common mistake made by many candidates. Remember you might even risk being thrown out by the security staff for such behavior. No organization will tolerate such behavior.
Never ask for special favorsIf you had one coffee that was served, fine. Never ask for one more coffee. This is always considered very rude. Similarly never make the mistake of trooping into the neighboring workstation and requesting the person there, if you could use the computer to check your email!!
If you think that such blunders can never happen, think again. In one organization at Bangalore, this actually happened. The HR Manager shared this during the coffee break in one conference. Never go overboard in doing all this. You have no right to ask for any special favor. People out there have all come up the hard way. 24X7 is the new norm. There are no shortcuts to success. If you have big ambitions, remember that you have to start small. Your starting salary will just about be enough to meet your needs. Nothing more.
Never share your employment details with othersThis is another important aspect. For all you know, the person hearing from you might leak the information to your present employer. You have every right to tell the other person that you would rather not reveal anything. He or she is in no way related to your career.
Never ever criticize the salary you are drawing or the nature of your experience. The interview venue is not the place for you to boast about your achievements. None need to know the reason for your seeking a change of job. If it is your first job, never share any part-time or unpaid job details that you might have had, with the other person.
ConclusionEverything in life looks very simple. However, it is not that simple or easy. The interview process is a real test of your skill. If you avoid the six common mistakes that are normally done by candidates, you will have done a big service to yourself and your career.
All the very best.
Whether it is a venue of the corporate interview or any other place related to other jobs, we should maintain certain basic decorum and exhibit good manners. I don't think anyone would be seeking for one more cup of coffee before he enters the interview room or his turn comes up. In case someone asked, it should be the other way round. The in-charge of the corridor should have the courtesy to say no in a polite way and it should be taken in a positive note about the stress buster he sought. Gone are those days. There are specific norms for Interviews in the private and public sector and this competitive world has made everyone to be cautious about their dress code, behavioral aspects, and the decorum.
The above article enunciates few suggestions for those characters with negative traits and show their dominance wherever they are present and forget to know the deliberations taking place in their surroundings. Surely, such things personify our negative traits and influence the interviewers to get carried away by the feedback. It is clear from the disclosure of a senior level manager in a conference as mentioned by the author about the seeking of a second round of Coffee by an interviewee that they get feedback about the behavioral aspects of the members while waiting outside for their turn.
Yes, sir. I know several IT organizations where the coffee is free even for visitors. I had been to several of these as a consultant too. There is nothing negative about the disclosure of the HR Chief during the tea break.
Kindly note that different organizations have different yardsticks for judging candidates. The organization manufactures a commodity in a remote location. This happened some years ago. The production chief had certain ideas in his mind. So the behavior of candidates attending interviews was closely monitored. To protect identity, I cannot mention any name here.
At the other end of the spectrum, please do note that in many cases of lateral recruits, offers are also decided during dinner conversations. What I had mentioned is mostly for entry-level jobs. I have several years of experience in HR. I cannot mention any big case study, as am also bound by certain norms of confidentiality.
A lot of offices have CCTV cameras set up in waiting halls or conference rooms where candidates are asked to wait. Candidates may be observed through this network, so it is essential to watch over one's body language, even when no one is watching. Follow courtesies such as holding the door open for someone behind you or smiling and saying 'thank you' when staff brings you coffee or water.
Sit up straight, don't bite your nails or dig your nose. Don't play around with your phone while you are waiting for your turn. If a journal or company magazine is lying on the table, go through it. The same goes for the newspaper. Always keep the magazine/newspaper back where you pick it up.
Always arrive before time, at the venue, but not an hour beforehand. Sometimes companies ask candidates to fill in forms. Carry a pen along, also have copies of your documents. Don't request the receptionist to print out copies for you. Don't forget to carry a printout of the call letter.