Lowering your margin of error on interviews.

Interviewers, making a great first impression on an interview isn’t easy. I see many different approaches to handling interviews from doing nothing to over stressing, then there are those who properly prepare. I’m going to share more about those preparing details in another blog, but for now, I wanted to share a quick tip that I see some of the most prepared, conscientious, qualified candidates make quite routinely. What is it? Their cell phones go off in an interview.

Some candidates I interview let me know before they arrive or at the very start of an interview they are “on-call”. They explain they have stepped out of the office to interview with me briefly and that they may have to take an on-call page / call if it occurs during our interview. While this isn’t ideal, at least the interviewee let’s me know up front, but when interviewing for a job with a hiring manager NEVER do this!

I council all my candidates about interviewing strategy and one of my simple principles is lowering your margin for error. I guess it’s my sports background kicking in. You see, in sports you always want to go for the highest percentage shot when you can. If you don’t, at some point the odds are going to get you. The same goes for interviewing and I’m specifically talking about your odds with cell phones. I’ve seen many a fantastic candidate have their cell phone ring during an interview with me and my clients. Most candidates are horrified and some actually answer the call, which is unbelievable. Do I need to say it, don’t answer your phone during an interview! If it does ring, PULL OUT THE BATTERY! Usually the person calling will call back if you don’t answer or later another call will come in. Some phones are incredibly loud when they are on vibrate and those need to go also.

Here is the expert interviewing advice regarding cell phones, LEAVE YOUR CELL PHONE IN YOUR CAR!! It lowers your margin for error on an interview. You’ve got so many other things to think about, shaking hands correctly, remembering people’s names, telling them about your experience.. etc… take one piece out the equation, having to remember to silence your cell. Leave your cell in the car and lower your margin for error on your next interview.

-Shelton Dickson
Managing Partner and Sr. Recruiter with Dickson Resources (615) 269-6030