No matter how many job interviews you’ve had in your life, it doesn’t make them any less nerve-wracking. Every job search starts from a blank page where the first impression (and the last) can make it or break it. No wonder a whopping 93% of job seekers have experienced great anxiety related to job interviews, according to a recent JDP survey.
But according to one Reddit user who posted on r/LifeProTips, no one should forget that an “interview starts immediately” once you set your foot in the door.
In a viral post that amassed 45.1k upvotes and 2.4k comments, the redditor recounted how a candidate “blew his interview in the first 5 minutes after he entered the building.” And the story is absolutely illuminating. Let’s read the full incident down below, which should give you a lot to think about before you take a shot at your next job interview.
Image credits: Petras Gagilas (not the actual photo)
Image credits: sawta2112
To find out what a coach in job interviews had to say about this incident, Bored Panda reached out to Dawn Moss, the founder of “Your Interview Coach” who has been helping both candidates and hiring managers through the recruitment and selection process since 2013. Dawn said that in her 12 years of experience as an in-house recruiter, she has never set up a “trick test” like this one. However, “I’ve rejected candidates because of their behavior towards people during the interview process.”
It turns out, recruiters are taking note of a candidate’s behavior even before the interview. “Has the candidate attached a cover letter? Have they taken the time to tailor their CV? What was their attitude like during the conversation? How easy was it to arrange an interview date and time?” These things can be deal-makers and breakers in whether you get a job interview and if you succeed in it.
Dawn also added that little details in a candidate’s behavior and actions tell a lot to the recruiters. “How a candidate talks to the security guards when they’re parking their car or being processed on arrival, how they talk to the receptionists, facilitators, interviewers, and so on are critical to their success.”
Ways to leave a good first impression in a job interview
The job search advisor also revealed a couple of things you should do make it in a job interview. “Take the time to review and analyze the job advert and job description in full,” she said. That means thoroughly researching the company website and their social media channel.
Another tip from Dawn is to “prepare and tailor answers to the common questions and have some specific examples to share at the interview.” You should also ask questions about the company and the position which are not just pay and benefits.
During the interview, “always listen carefully to questions and instructions, be positive, polite, and your most professional self.” Presenting your very best self also includes dressing smart and showing up on time.
Dawn assures job seekers that all this preparation will definitely be noticed. “It demonstrates to the hiring managers that the candidate is genuinely interested in the job and the company, because they’ve taken the time and made the effort,” she said.
And this is what people had to say about the incident
In the end, Dawn stressed that treating people with respect when you come to the job interview is absolutely vital. “Being genuinely friendly, approachable, and a nice person makes the day go more smoothly and people are far more willing to help you out when you need them.”
If they’re treated well and feel valued, people are much more likely to go out of their way to finish tasks and put in extra time or effort. “That includes receptionists, security guards, cleaners, and the catering staff,” Dawn concluded.