by Anthi Maneta, HR Manager / Kanava Hotels & Resorts
In order for you to travel with a plane, you need to book a ticket first. Then you need to check – in and pass through Security Control. At the end you reach your Gate, you present your travel documents and you get on your flight! Similar steps could be identified in the process of chasing a job position. A catchy and relevant with the requirements of the advertised available position resume, could be your ticket. But what happens with the Security Control? Are you finally flying or not?
Let’s go directly to the day that you will receive a phone call or an email regarding an interview. I will start again from the basics, by saying that before even you have an interview, your resume passes through a first screening and then the way you answer the phone or the way you reply on the email could be a second screening for you. In both cases, it is important that you show professionalism and enthusiasm (in a normal way – not excessive / overreacting one).
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When the phone rings
To start with, if you know you've sent a resume, stay alert! Your phone could ring at any time and when it will ring, the least you have to do is to answer it! If you cannot answer at that time, it's a good idea to call back later. Generally though, if you are not able to respond appropriately, you’d better call back later rather than answering in a sleepy, breathless or crying tone or from a very noisy place.
Speaking about the tone of your voice, make sure it reflects calmness and professionalism, rather than aggression or boredom. When the recruiter shares with you the name of the company they are calling you from, be warm and thank them. If you do not remember the name or the location of a hotel that you have applied, I suggest that you don’t share this information with your recruiter but rather check your emails or notes later. Make sure you keep a list of the names and locations of the hotels and the job positions you are applying, plus do your research before applying.
When the recruiter suggests you a date and time for an interview and gives you all necessary information for your appointment (address, floor, name etc) it is wise that you confirm back all data before you end the call. Therefore, you can repeat all the above information, reassure the caller for your presence, thank them and farewell. It is always important to end the call politely and leave the person on the other end with a favorable impression of you.
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Moreover, in the era of Google and free limitless information across the internet, it does not make any sense to hold the caller on the line so that he/she explains to you how you will come, in which corner you will turn, where you will park or in which station you should embark and disembark. Such questions show, in the best case scenario, an insecure and unfamiliar with the technology person, or, in the worst case, an insecure and definitely not “solution oriented” person. Unfortunately, none of the two scenarios are in favor of you.
If you are unable to attend the interview on the date and time suggested by the recruiter, you can make a suggestion on your own and give a – let’s say – politically correct excuse. Having scheduled for example a basketball game with your friends is definitely NOT a serious excuse to share with the recruiter.
If all pre - interview communication is done by email and not by phone, same approach applies as well. Professionalism, politeness, warmness, data confirmation or suggestion of another date and time (making sure you give a range of options to the recruiter) and finally reassurance of your presence in the appointment and farewell.
The Interview Day
Moving on, to the interview day, if you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment, you need to inform at least one day in advance and give a serious reason for that. A non show on the day of the interview – with the exception of a serious and / or unexpected health issue – shows lack of professionalism and will probably not be on your favor for a future collaboration with this company.
Bear in mind that no matter if the interview is live or online (via skype, viber etc) your goal should be the same: to create a positive impression. So, I encourage you to follow as a minimum the tips below:
1. Be consistent!
Be consistent with your appointment time, whether it is live or online as I mentioned earlier.
2. You will never have a second chance to make a first impression.
You will never have a second chance to make a first impression and this first impression is created within the first seconds of your interaction with somebody. So, a well groomed appearance, a smile, eye contact and a strong handshake count outmost. Also, the fact that nowadays, you can have a skype interview from the comfort of your home, doesn't mean that it is accepted to show up on camera wearing pyjamas or with a messy room as a background.
3. Especially in the case of a skype interview...
Especially in the case of a skype interview make sure you have checked your internet connection in advance and have chosen a quiet, neat and well - lighted place. Make sure that lighting is in front of you and not behind you, as similar to the sunset photos, you will appear as a shadow - so definitely do not sit in front of a window.
4. Each country has its own social etiquette rules.
Each country has its own social etiquette rules. So as per Greece’s socially accepted courtesy rule, in a formal situation, like a first - time meeting with a person; with older people and with people of higher rank or authority, a courtesy form should be used. This is what I suggest you to do in the interview too. Regardless of whether or not you agree with this rule, or your interviewer has twice your age or he/she chooses to address you in a casual way, you should still keep this advice on mind if you want to “play safe”.
5. Do your homework!
Do your homework! It is extremely important that you’ve done a research about your prospective employer before you go on a job interview. Here again I will emphasize in the usefulness of Google. Thank God in 2019 this information is abundant and very easily accessible. Therefore, the least you have to do is to study the company's website and social media. See which are the products and services offered and try to identify which is the target market. Evaluate everything from both the customer and employee side. Ask yourself questions such as: would I like to work for this company? Am I inspired by the services and products or the mission, vision and values of it? In addition, it is advisable that you study the location where this company operates and its competitors - especially if you are aiming for a managerial position.
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6. Self - awareness is a must!
Self - awareness is a must! It is important to remember the flow of your resume, how long you have been in each position and what you have accomplished. It can be a positive result for the company or it can also be a new skill you've conquered. Generally, you should have done your self-assessment and know where you are good at and where you are excellent. What you need to improve and what are you doing about it. What are your career goals? What do you like about your job and why do you feel you are a good fit for this position?
7. Avoid negative comments about your previous company, colleagues or managers.
Avoid negative comments about your previous company, colleagues or managers. Even if you had a “hard” time there, you don't have to get into such details during an interview. Focus on the positive outcomes and move on, leaving anything else behind. No one likes people who are grumbling or putting the blame on others for anything happening to them.
8. Try to be comprehensive, honest and clear.
Try to be comprehensive, honest and clear. Try to avoid over - analyzing or jumping from one topic to another. Your main focus should be in giving your stigma and increasing your chances to be chosen. The duration of each interview is limited and therefore it would be wise that you adapt your time accordingly.
All the above examples and many more are a recruiter’s reality! I have shared with you the most common mistakes, with a sense of understanding, love and a "suspicion" of humor in the hope of helping you get a little bit closer to your goal. Good luck to your new career endeavors!