Careful! Think! Plan! Interviews really are very important


[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]
On my Friday commute last week, as on most other days I was busy scrolling through my Twitter feed, catching up on what had been posted overnight as well as having the normal high spirited Friday banter with friends. There is usually plenty to catch up on and read. I only have an hour of over ground commute so am never able to read it all. One tweet however stood out; actually it was a ReTweet or RT.

The original post in its entirety is

“Be truthful if you sleep through/forget/don’t show up to an interview. Employers MAY be understanding.”

This was posted by someone who has as a fair number of followers on Twitter and appears to work for a company with a good website giving what is generally sound advice to job seekers. However I find this tweet quite disturbing. I can’t fault the logic of being honest; it does indeed go a long way. But to actually come out and state something as absurd as stated in the tweet is dangerous.

There is no, I repeat no excuse for sleeping late, forgetting or just not showing up ever. It is inexcusable and indefensible. Now I am sure that the author of the tweet didn’t mean it this way, I would hope not anyway! However if you put yourself out there as an “expert” who advises people on how to find a job and how to perform in an interview, you do have a certain responsibility. Many people will listen to you and if they read and digest that tweet they are unlikely to get hired.

This blog isn’t a rant nor is it intended to offer general criticism of the author at all. Therefore I don’t intend to name or link to his website.

There are many reasons why people can’t make a prearranged interview, many of them credible, understandable and forgivable, however the reason stated above are not amongst these. If you are applying for any job in any company you must without fail and excuse show the company, the job and the hiring manager the utmost respect.

In many organisations Managers want people in their teams that meet certain key competencies or behavioural traits. Now I know many companies don’t get all psych and sophisticated and actually label their selection criteria that way, regardless hiring managers generally have standards they look for; whether it is technical ability, team fit, experience in a certain function etc., the list goes on. Above all else the hiring manager will most certainly want to employ someone who wants to do the job, someone who has the right attitude and will generally get the job done. Decisions to hire are generally based on how an interview has highlighted these attributes.

Conversely oversleeping, forgetting to attend or not showing up for an interview highlights other attributes that to my knowledge are not acceptable in any job. It shows lack of planning, discipline, enthusiasm and respect for the job, manager and company, a lack of common courtesy and importantly a lack of self-respect.

There is no sure fire guaranteed way of making a good impression, of securing that perfect job, but you have to do your utmost to make sure you don’t leave a bad a impression. Good planning will go a long way as will the right attitude.

There are many do’s and don’ts, what are your thoughts?

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  1. Right bang smack on the money. No excuse for that one.

    • Thansk for taking the time to comment James

  2. Agree wholeheartedly. 100%. Only one aspect I’d disagree with. Where people are late, forget or just don’t show for interview, rather than lack of self respect they tend to be the types who have a rather inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities. Nuff said!

    • Well spotted Andy, I suspect you are right and it is a lesson for us all that no matter what we think of ourselves it is rather the opinion of others that counts more…………………mostly 🙂

  3. Looking at this from an employers perspective I would add that any company foolish enough to employ someone who has turned up late for an interview because they overslept deserves what they will inevitably get!
    Whilst the honesty is commendable, that rather misses the point! Someone who can’t get up in time for an interview clearly has problems and should be avoided.

    • I dont suppose we are going to get too many people disagreeing on that one Mark

    • Anna Eccleston
    • March 1st, 2011

    I completely agree with you Gary. What if they’re stuck in traffic? This is unavoidable, probably. I’m currently waiting for something to turn up to an 11am interview (it’s currently 12:11). He’s been stuck in traffic since 10.30…

    • Anna, thanks for taking time to read and comment. There are times when traffic, public transport or circumstances conspire against us and cause delays regardless of planning and these we can sort of live with because they have happened to all of us. But oversleeping or forgetting about it have to be considered irresponsible.

      I may have mellowed over the last few years; not so long ago I had zero tolerance and it is hard to give someone the benefit of the doubt and temper that with common sense

    • Sian Pearson
    • March 6th, 2011

    Absolutely agree, however working overseas I have finally leant that not everyone has the same idea of punctuality, so sometimes it could be a cultural issue. Frustrating until you get the hang of that extra half hour!

    • Completely agree with you there Sian. It is important to realise that different cutlures have different priorities, for example in Italy it is considered to be rude to be punctual!!

      But generaly speaking the expectations of the in house recruiting teams or the hiring managers are the ones that need to be met and managed country by country

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