I have placed hundreds of automotive professionals in jobs across the country over the past 20 years. And, unfortunately, I’ve seen job candidates lose the opportunity of a lifetime by making mistakes during the hiring process.
Here’s a look at the top six mistakes I see job candidates make, so you can avoid them during your next job hunt!
Whether your resume includes a blatant lie or a lie of omission, your hiring manager will eventually discover it. No candidate is completely perfect, and it’s easier to overcome any shortcomings by being honest about them upfront. But when your new boss learns that your real-life experience doesn’t match up to your resume – you are likely looking for a new job.
Honesty is the best policy – so keep it clean on your resume.
You don’t get a second chance at a first impression – and being late for a job interview is not the best way to start. When you’re late (even just a few minutes late) you’re showing disrespect to the employer and giving the impression that you’re not responsible.
Anticipate your hold ups ahead of time. Consider setting an alarm on your phone so you don’t get caught up at work or with other activities. Expect traffic. And plan to be 10 minutes early to give yourself even more wiggle room.
The “tell me about your weaknesses” section of the interview is dreaded by job candidates everywhere. While it is important to honestly answer this question, as acknowledging shortcomings shows self-awareness and maturity, make sure to keep your responses brief. You don’t need to talk the hiring manager out of choosing you!
So, touch on how you’re working to improve in these areas and then refocus on your strengths!
It’s important to remember that how we represent ourselves indicates our trustworthiness, authority and success to others.
I always recommend to job candidates that they dress their best, regardless of the position for which they are interviewing. For men, a shirt and tie or suit is best – for women nice pants and a blouse or a dress/suit is recommended. And don’t forget grooming if you want to be taken seriously – no 5:00 shadow or messy hair.
While it’s great to have the confidence that you are the best candidate for the job, be careful not to tread into arrogance. Even if you were recruited for the position, you may still need to compete with others for the job. Unfortunately, I’ve had recruited candidates who refused to fill out paperwork or gave flippant responses during interviews because they felt they shouldn’t have to “audition” for the part.
Show your confidence, but also demonstrate your humility by completing the entire interview process as indicated by the employer.
Even if you’re being recruited for a job, it’s important to remember that your potential employer wants to hear that you are interested in taking the next step.
If you are interested in the job, follow up quickly with a thank you (preferably by phone or mailed note card) and return any messages or calls from the employer as soon as possible. A slow follow through could make the hiring manager question your commitment to a new opportunity.
Looking for your next career in the automotive industry? Submit your profile here.