I have screened, interviewed, and hired a number of people throughout the years, and I have often secretly asked myself a number of questions that have helped me decide whether to keep the candidate in or write him/her off.
For you to optimize your chances of getting hired and leaving a good impression, I hope you take into consideration the following questions and suggested answers. The hiring decision-making certainly entails much more, but this could certainly be some food for thought for job seekers.
About your CV:
When I see spelling errors, I wonder whether you have invested sufficient effort and time in writing your CV, if you have put it together in minutes (Which tells me you might not be diligent in your work), or if you have a serious problem with spelling! Have someone proofread it for you. Besides, please show some innovation in the way you describe yourself.
When I see a list of tasks under your jobs descriptions, I wonder what your accomplishments are. After tasks, list achievements like “completed a critical project successfully” or “developed a quality plan that led to high customer satisfaction”. They work much better.
When I see that you have changed jobs several times within short periods of time, I wonder whether you are looking for a career, or if you are the type of employee that cannot keep a job for long. Be prepared to provide the interviewer with acceptable and honest answers.
When I see that you have not attended any courses or workshops for the last couple of years, I wonder whether you do have the intellectual curiosity required to be a solid knowledge worker.. Personal Note: If your budget is tight, there are always free workshops that you can attend.
About the Interview:
When you come late I wonder whether you care enough, or if a lack of punctuality is business as usual for you. If you are lost on your way to your interview, make a quick phone call and ask for directions.
If you are too loud in a quiet office, I wonder whether you are sensitive enough to your surroundings. Make sure the way you talk or act is a match to the new environment you’re hoping to enter.
If you look at your phone too frequently, I wonder whether I’m boring you, or if you have another interview. Put your phone on silent mode, and avoid looking at it too often.
If you do not want me to call your previous employers (other than the current one), I wonder if you left on “happy” terms.
If you do not ask any questions, I wonder whether you are really interested in the job. Ask pertinent questions, like about the type of projects you might carry out and who you will be reporting to. When the interviewer says: “Do you have any questions?”, you can ask what the next step will be.
If you do not follow up because I haven’t gotten back to you a short time after the interview, I wonder if we were just a plan B for you and whether I should contact you for other opportunities.
P.S: I really like it when you have a portfolio that you can showcase. I also really like it when you’re gracious with your time and show willingness to help with small things.
Check out the results of a poll I have conducted on LinkedIn: When you view a LinkedIn profile, what are you most interested in? http://linkd.in/PFL04G (Thanks for Voting as Well!)