When you’re interviewing for a job, you need to get the hiring manager on your side. That means being considerate, as well as confident and engaging.
But, being considerate during a job search is slightly different than being polite in your day-to-day life. For instance, while your friends will probably forgive you for cancelling plans now and then, a hiring manager might cross you off their list. It’s all about understanding what’s appropriate in this context.
Doing any of these will definitely not endear you to HR:
1. Cancelling at the last minute … or not showing up at all.
“It is inconsiderate to cancel a phone interview or in-person interview at the last minute,” writes Hannah Morgan at U.S. News. “What you may not realize is that your cancellation not only alters the recruiter’s schedule but the schedules of multiple people within the organization. Emergencies happen, such as a death in the family or a newly scheduled team meeting at your current job. But treat your interview like you are showing up for work on your first day. When you try to reschedule an interview, you are breaking the recruiter’s trust in you as a candidate.”
2. Applying for every job opening at the company.
Maybe you’re dying to work for this employer in any capacity … or maybe you’re just desperate for a job. Either way, spamming the recruiter or hiring manager with resumes for every open job won’t help you get hired. This is especially true if you use the same CV for each position.
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3. Stalking the hiring manager.
Send a thank-you note, and a follow-up a week or so later … and then relax for a bit. You won’t help your case by hounding the hiring manager. Remember, they’re trying to figure out if they want to work with you. That level of intensity isn’t persuasive.
4. Throwing around buzzwords that don’t really mean anything.
“My biggest red flag when I interview a potential hire is when a candidate uses a ton of buzz words without any substance behind them,” says Ron Sinai, founder and COO of Nova Legal Funding, in an interview with Monster.com. “When used correctly, these terms are OK, but if you’re saying them without relating it to something useful, then it makes me think you’re full of it.”
5. Not knowing anything about the company or the job.
You know that old expression, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”? Well, when it comes to job interviews, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your pre-interview research should tell you what the company does and a bit about its products, services and history. If you show up to the interview with no clue what you’re interviewing for, the hiring manager will rightly conclude that you’re not very serious about the job.
Tell Us What You Think
What’s the worst thing you’ve encountered during the job search process? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.