What advice would you give job seekers to improve their interview skills? That was the question asked in a recent poll of potential employers. The top three responses shocked me (I don’t know why; nothing should be shocking anymore). The number one tip to remember when interviewing with your potential employer is “Don’t appear disinterested.” REALLY? It’s not “Don’t inflate your accomplishments” or “Don’t be nervous.” It’s “Try not to appear so uninterested in getting the job?” What does this say about our pool of job candidates? They actually have to be told to at least pretend that they are interested in getting the job they applied for? I remember interviewing for one of my early jobs. I spent time going over in my mind how I would answer questions, how I would present myself in the best way to secure the job. Never did I have to look in the mirror and tell myself, “Just remember, try to look interested in the job.” The second piece of advice from those polled was to dress appropriately. Ok, maybe this piece of advice isn’t much of a shock. Take a walk through the office and compare what you see now to what you saw ten or fifteen years ago.
Most people look like they are heading out to the beach or a club instead of work. At least make an attempt to look presentable when interviewing. It’s pretty much a given that if you don’t clean up for your interview, it won’t get much better once you’re on the job. And the third gripe from potential employers – “Don’t answer your cell phone in the middle of your interview.” Once again, sad that anyone needs to be told this. If someone is taking the time to consider you for a paying position with their company, you can at least show them the respect to give them your undivided attention for the few minutes of your interview. Maybe that’s what it all boils down to – respect. Respect for yourself and others. Is it truly gone? Respect enough to want to do a good job, EARN a living, work hard. Respect to present yourself in a professional manner – in both appearance and conversation. How do we restore that?