Mistakes job seekers don’t know they make and tips for a successful interview
Some companies receive hundreds of applicants for a single opening. We want to help you hone your skills and nail the interview so we asked the experts.
Lisa Murfield works as the human resources manager for a large Tampa law firm and is the former president of HR Tampa. Mary Spadaro heads up HR for Employee Management Services, and Ed Hoppenjans has been in H-R for more than a decade.
The three experts have more than 30 years of experience in the field.
Whether you are looking for a part-time, full-time, or seasonal position, always do your research and tailor your resume.
For applicants who feel beaten down by a long stretch of unemployment, don’t let your discouragement show. “Even though you may be horribly discouraged, you still need to come across very confident, positive,” said Murfield.
Often interviewees will ask if you have any questions. In this setting, silence is never golden. “Ask the interviewer why do you work here, (or) what has kept you here. Why do you like working for this company?” suggested Spadaro.
Murfield is impressed with candidates who are able to provide measurable examples of success at their last position. “Everyone can say they are a team player, but can you show that with any type of awards or recognition?”
Before sending out any resumes, cover all your bases. Make sure the voice mail message on your phone is professional, then check your Facebook page. Either set the security to private or remove anything you would not want a potential employer to see.
Finally, a message echoed by all of the experts: Be creative and set yourself apart. “If it’s a marketing position, put together a marketing campaign on yourself and why they should hire you,” said Spadaro.
If you don’t get the job, you could call the HR manager and seek feedback. Depending on how you ask the question, you could learn something that would help you improve your performance the next time out.
Other things you want to consider: The interview starts the minute you get the call. Employers usually begin with a phone screen. So put your best foot forward at every turn, including when you walk into the office. One of the experts we interviewed always asks the receptionist how the applicant treated her when they walked in.
Another expert said it is more important to be yourself than to try to talk your way into a job. Also if there are gaps in your employment history, consider filling them with any volunteer work you may have done or continuing education courses you took to stay current in your field.
Always dress the part and never share overly personal stories or make negative comments about the last place you worked.