Whilst conducting telephone or Skype interviews, Nathan, Consultant at Futureboard, says one of the worst things people can do is starting the interview without saying ‘Hello’. However, even worse than that is being late and/or forgetting about the interview.
Nathan says: “I once did a Skype interview with a candidate who had clearly forgotten about it. He wasn’t answering, so I called up his mobile and he said he would be there in a second. When he answered on Skype it was clear he had just woken up: the curtains in his room were closed, his hair looked like he had been sleeping in a bush and he was wearing a baggy t-shirt.”
As for assessment centres, sometimes having the wrong clothing can make you stick in the interviewer’s mind – and not in a good way. Nathan once came across a candidate with “massive holes in his socks”. He says: “Another candidate became famous as ‘the guy with the shirt’: it looked awful! It looked like he had picked it up from the washing machine, tied it up and then worn it.”
Shaking hands with the interviewer is also a crucial moment in the hiring process. Nathan says: “It’s almost a trust thing: by shaking someone’s hand you are connecting with that person, you are showing openness, confidence, trust. It can’t feel like you can’t be bothered to meet them!”
According to Nathan, especially if you’re working in sales and communicating with people, you have to remember employers want candidates who look presentable, smart and professional.
Nathan says: “If you look tired, like you don’t care, like you’re not present or not ready to work, why should they hire you? What kind of expectation can they get from you?”
He adds: “A good first impression means that you take pride in what you’re doing, that you’re interested: it means you’re already making a good first temp towards employment.”
Have you got any bad first impression stories? Comment here if you want to share them with Futureboard!