4 common ways even senior SA business people mess up their job interviews
With an annual salary of R1.5 million or more as a senior manager or executive, there can be quite a lot riding on whether or not you impress in your job interview.
While there are a number of factors which will ultimately influence whether or not you eventually land the position, there are also surefire self-destructive behaviours known to kill a candidate’s interview prospects.
This is according to Annelize van Rensburg, director of Signium Africa, a locally based executive search and talent management company.
Van Rensburg said that the four following self-destructive behaviours were notable issues in South Africa:
- Turn up late – Blame the traffic or bad-mouth the location, especially if it’s at the hiring company’s head office.
- Fail to prepare – Don’t even check the corporate website. Ensure the interview panel know you have done no ‘homework’ by confusing the recruiting company with a competitor or by asking questions that display ignorance of the company and its industry.
- Dress to fail – Jeans, scruffy shoes and an open-neck shirt should do it, or perhaps high heels, a revealing top and a micro-mini.
- Display self-interest – At the first possible moment ask about pay and perks. Then ask about how much paid leave you can expect.
“Even senior people scupper their chances through crass errors like these. They are looking for seven-figure salaries and might be experienced personnel in their 40s or 50s, but still self-destruct,” said van Rensburg.
“The biggest key is proper preparation. Research the recruiting company (inside out). Read its financial statements and annual reports. Make sure you know the names of the CEO, executive team and board members. Prep for the interview by driving the route to the venue ahead of time. This ensures you know the way, the traffic and the time commitment.Know your CV backwards,” she said.
Van Rensburg said it was also important to memorise key dates and bring along extra hard copies to ensure all panel members have your CV.
“Punt team efforts and give credit to peers and teams when reviewing career highlights. Be honest.Ask questions that display an interest in the recruiting company, its industry and the position you are targeting. Strategic issues and corporate culture are favoured topics,” she said.
“Leave questions about pay and perks until later. Show loyalty to current employers or at the very least display restraint and discretion.”
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