How To Mess Up Your Chances Of Getting a Job Through a Recruitment Agency
A recruiter can be the gatekeeper to the job of your dreams, and as easily as they may lead you into success they can keep you from it. The job of a recruiter is to screen all potential job applicants and find the best person for the job. For this reason, they are able to focus more intensely on each candidate than what a typical hiring agent might. There is a noticeable difference between the businesslike demeanor of a recruiter who spends all day every day in this role as opposed to someone who only does hiring once in a while as needed. The difference has even been studied by some colleges.
A study done in 1990 at Northwestern University known as the Lindquist-Endicott report picked out differences surrounding recruiters and how a job candidate might completely ruin their chances of getting a job. Even though this study is quite old, there are some relevant truths contained within it that are still useful to job seekers today.
The largest turn-off to recruiters involved a candidate having either no knowledge or very limited knowledge about the company they were applying to work for. They felt that a deserving candidate should have at least some knowledge about the company and the role that they would play within the organization to be an effective employee. Other obvious but still easily preventable errors on the parts of candidates included sloppy or inappropriate appearance, bad attitude, and behaving unprofessionally during the interview process. All of these things are well within the control of a candidate and can be fixed to ensure that they do meet with success. A candidate needs to make sure when they are doing the job search that they have everything together in a professional manner, not just their resume and portfolio.
Recruiters got more specific about issues involving attitude and behavior. They cited arrogance, know-it-all attitudes as a no-go on the job search scene, as well as less controllable issues like shyness. The felt that shyness, especially in some job roles where interaction with others is a large component of the job, was a hindrance to best performance. Things like being immature, not paying attention, and a condescending tone all go towards the negative. A good candidate should be outspoken during the interview in a manner that highlights their skills, their interest in the company, and in the career goals they have set forth for themselves.
These 'lack of's' can kill you during the interview process with a recruiter also: lack of knowledge about the company, lack of knowledge or experience related to the position being applied for, lack of interest, lacking professionalism in appearance and behavior, and lack of energy. Recruiters say that the candidate who will pull off a successful interview will be dressed right, know their skills and the company, and have lots of energy to back up their other good features.
How we think we present ourselves during the interview process may not be best either. Recruiters picked out rudeness, poor answers to questions or avoiding questions altogether, being late and unprepared for the interview, and poor communication skills including lack of eye contact. While these are outward behaviors, they all link directly back to the perceived attitude the recruiter gets and one small bit of it can ruin chances of getting a job.
So what should one do when an interview is coming? First, prepare extensively. This means the usual things like getting extra copies of references and resumes together and putting them neatly in a leather folder, but also more than just having the papers ready. Get everything absolutely necessary in that folder and do not overstuff it. It might be wise to slip a tablet in the folder to write down questions so you do not have to interrupt the interviewer.
Also, go to the trouble of researching the company and printing some literature about them. Slide this inside the portfolio, but read it too! Even basic knowledge about the company might be enough to put you ahead of the competition, and in the least maybe getting to the interview early will allow you a few minutes to read over it, refresh yourself on the company, and calm your nerves. Try to have a few questions ready to ask towards the end of the interview, and make them general questions regarding the company. The first interview is too soon to discuss salary, another peeve of recruiters who pointed out that some candidates were more interested in what the company could do for them than what they could do for the company. Dress neatly and professionally [it is better to be overdressed in a suit than underdressed] and have plenty of energy, even if it means you have to down coffee before the interview to have the pep you need to excel through it. Practice good hygiene and be as conservative as possible. If you can practice interviewing with someone then do it and get some truthful feedback about how you look, how you act,and your knowledge base. One way to look at an interview is to regard it as a test: why would you not want to study and do your best? Many mistakes made during an interview are easily prevented.