Every job interview is a chance is to make (or break) your career. That’s why—even if you’re not sure the role is right for you—you should enter into every interaction with a recruiter or human resources professional with the same sense of respect.
In the small, high-turnover world of talent acquisition and human resources, making a bad (or good!) impression can go a long way. At least, that’s what Danielle, a Recruitment Operations Manager, tells us.
Before you start your next interview process, here are three tips from an expert to help you ensure you make a good impression—and don’t end up messing things up for yourself down the line.
1. Make Sure You’re Ready For Your Call
Research shows that people prefer phone interviews to video interviews—and it makes sense, too. You don’t have to focus on how you look, unreliable video call technology, or whether the interviewer is judging you for the Taylor Swift poster on your wall.
However, what a phone interview absolutely shouldn’t be is an excuse to take your interview less than 100 percent seriously. You should still:
- Find a quiet, private space in which to take the call
- Ensure you have enough time to take the call
- Give the interviewer your full attention for the duration of the call
That means you absolutely cannot take the call from the gym, while you’re walking to class, or in line at Starbucks. This is a job interview—and your preparedness reflects both your competence and your respect for the interviewer.
And as Danielle tells us, “It’s so important to maintain that professional relationship, even if you’re not going to take the job, because there are only so many people in the campus recruiting space at elite companies.”
And not only do different HR and talent acquisition professionals talk to each other, but they also switch companies and roles frequently, so making a bad impression with one company could definitely hurt you down the line with another.
2. If You’re Going To Cancel, Do It (At Least) 24 Hours In Advance.
If you schedule an interview, you should do your best to show up to it. Whether that means getting on the phone at the right time or actually being in an office, showing up is half the battle.
However, recruiters are people too, and they understand that life happens. Sometimes you’re going to need to cancel or reschedule. If this is the case, the only thing that will preserve your reputation—and show respect for the recruiter—is doing so as early as possible.
If you have suddenly remembered that you have an exam, a doctor’s appointment, or that your cousin is visiting during the time of your interview, then you’ve got to email your interviewer as soon as possible and let them know that you’re very sorry but you have an unavoidable conflict.
Offer your apologies, ask their permission to reschedule, and thank them for their time. Those simple steps can help prevent you from damaging your reputation and wasting their time.
3. No Matter What, Do Not Skip Your Interview
No matter what you do, don’t just skip your interview. It can be nerve-wracking having to cancel, but the answer is never to just “ghost” your interviewer and disappear without a trace.
Not only is this extremely disrespectful, but it also makes you look unprofessional. When you skip an interview, it makes you look as though you’re: 1) too disorganized to remember that you had a job interview or 2) too uncomfortable to communicate that you’re no longer interested or unavailable at that time.
This is the kind of behavior that could damage your reputation in the world of recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. Plus, it’s rude.
Danielle’s number one piece of advice, though, is to just treat your interviewers like people. Things happen, mistakes are made, and life can get in the way. Be open and honest with your recruiters. If you are, they’ll give you a second chance or another appointment if you need one.
Want more application tricks and interview tips? Check out the WayUp Guide for more.