As part of our series of question-and-answer chats with recruiters, Jill Jarufe, MBA, co-leader of the nursing practice at Kaye/Bassman International Corp. in Dallas, discusses how job applicants sabotage their opportunities to make a good first impression, and what they can do to improve their interview techniques.
(The interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
What’s the most common mistake that job candidates make during an interview and how can they rectify that?
Not doing their homework and researching the company and/or the hiring authority. And going into the interview unprepared.
You should take time to learn the company. During the interview, show them that you have made that effort.
What’s the quickest and easiest way that a job candidate can make a favorable impression with a recruiter/interviewer?
Make eye contact, smile and offer a firm handshake. Find something that you have in common with the person or people you are meeting.
Fill in the blank: “I won’t consider them for the job if they _______ during an interview.”
Lie. Remember, resumes can be verified. Be sure to carefully review your dates of employment, degrees and certifications, and the responsibilities and titles you had in your various positions.
What’s the best question that a job candidate can ask you?
“What is most important about who you hire for the position?”
This will give the candidate immediate insight into how they should answer follow-up questions during the interview. They will be able to speak to whatever skills and qualities the interviewer wants, and show how they have the necessary experience.
How can a candidate sense that they are in good standing and a likely contender for a position after an interview?
The best way to know this is if the interviewer volunteers information about the next steps in the hiring process, asks about your availability for a second interview, asks for references and asks how soon you could start. Nine times out of 10 that shows they are serious about you.
Would you prefer an email or handwritten “thank you” following an interview?
Definitely a handwritten “thank you.” This speaks volumes about who you are as a person and shows that you care enough about the position to take the time to craft a personal, handwritten note.
Our series of question-and-answer chats features recruiters in various healthcare positions. Want to share your job-hunting tips for healthcare professionals? Email your contact information to the email@example.com.