Business Blunders...Pre-Hire!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Greetings Divas! As we approach the beginning of yet another work week, I am reminded of the conversations I have had recently with a few of my readers who are entering or re-entering the workforce. I love having these conversations, as they give me a chance to reflect on some of the behaviors, good and bad, of career seekers. Instant inspiration!

Based on these conversations, I have decided to publish a 3-part post entitled “Business Blunders.” In reading this post, you have stumbled upon Part 1…Congratulations! This post will focus on business blunders that occur prior to one being hired. In fact, some of these blunders may contribute to you not being offered the sought after position. Now I know some of you may think that some of these things are minor and inconsequential, but think about it this way. If you have been granted an interview, chances are you have already met the basic requirements for the position…and so have all of the other candidates who have been granted an interview. The interview, as well as these “minor” and “inconsequential” things, are what set you apart from the other candidates. Any one of these business blunders may put the nail in the proverbial job coffin. That’s my spiel! So check out my list of pre-hire business blunders!

Blunder #1 – “Exaggerated” Resumes – Have any of you heard the story of the job seeker whose resume stated that he was fluent in Spanish…and he really wasn’t? His interviewer, out of the blue, conducted the job seeker’s interview completely in Spanish. Could you imagine what happened? This story has always stuck with me, and has always reminded me to be truthful on my resume. I advise you all to do the same. Your resume should only highlight the position you actually held, the honors you actually received, and the skills you actually have. It would suck to be caught in a lie during an interview, so keep it real!

Blunder #2 - Poor Company Research – Basic pre-interview rule. You should always do your research on the company you are asking to hire you. This rule is important for two reasons. First, researching the company will give you insight on whether the company and its culture is right for you. Second, there are a variety of standard interview questions that are designed to test your interest in the company itself. Be prepared and do your research before the interview.

Blunder #3 - Poor Position Research – Every interviewee should have at least a working knowledge of the position for which she is interviewing. How else would you know if the position is the right one for you? Also, researching the position is instrumental in gathering any questions you may have for the interviewer.

Blunder #4 – Inappropriate Interview Apparel – The first thing your interviewer is going to see if you outfit, so dress appropriately. What do I mean by dressing appropriately? There are many schools of thought on this issue. Some say your interview attire should be reflective of the culture of the company for which you are interviewing (company research comes in handy here!). Others say you should always wear a business suit. My initial thought is that you should wear a business suit, but that’s just my preference. In any event, your interview apparel should be neat. No beach, resort, of weekend wear. 

Blunder #5 - No Thank You Note – Always send a follow –up note to your interviewer(s) following the interview. It doesn’t have to be anything long or drawn out….just something thanking him or her for the interview, and attaching any documents that may have been requested during the interview.

Blunder #6 - Social Media Suicide – Let’s face it…we live in a society where social networking has taken over. Please be conscious at all times of your privacy settings for your social media accounts. Why? Because interviewers are not above Googling you! How embarrassing would it be for you potential boss to Google your name, and your Facebook profile pops up with that picture of you at the club last weekend? Are you following me (no pun intended)? Go ahead and check your account settings before finishing this post….I’ll wait…..

Blunder #7 – Crazy Voice Mail – This is a simple one, yet many job seekers forget about it. Your voice mail message should state your name, and should ask the caller to leave their name, number, and a brief message….that’s it! No musical intro. No cussing. No nicknames. If this is the number you have on your resume for business calls, keep it professional.

That’s all for Part 1 of the Business Blunder series. What are some additional pre-hire business blunders? Please share in the comments section below!

Also, look out for Business Blunders – Post Hire!

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