Most interviewers will tell you that they make their minds up about a candidate within minutes – if not seconds – of them stepping through their office door. It isn’t just about appearances, although first impressions really do make an impact. Sadly, most HVAC job candidates will make it very clear from the outset whether they are right for the job and fully engaged with the role.
Here are 6 things candidates frequently do to blow their chances:
As the saying goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. It may be hard to believe but candidates do still turn up to interview without having so much as glanced at the company’s website. On the flipside, good HVAC job candidates will have read the ‘about us’ section, they will have scoured the news page and the social media channels to gain a real insight into the business. Not only does it prevent them fumbling when asked why they want to work for Company X, it also makes them feel more confident about themselves and the role.
If in doubt, overdress. That doesn’t mean flamboyant outfits that make you look a little too eccentric, it means smart work wear. Career coaches always used to recommend business wear for interviews but this term doesn’t mean the same now as it did even a few years ago. These days a lot of workplaces accept fairly casual workwear and even in professional services environments suits and ties are far rarer than they once were. When it comes to interview though, don’t dress as you would if you worked there, dress for an interview. That means a suit or other smart clothing, with a jacket where possible and clean, formal shoes.
Some HVAC interviews are very structured whereas others are quite chatty and informal. If it’s the latter, don’t be fooled into thinking you can behave differently. You are still being interviewed and even if you feel comfortable enough to comment on the décor of the room or the trouble you had parking, keep your thoughts to yourself. Be polite and respectful at all times to everyone you meet, including the receptionist.
Timekeeping is a key quality that almost every interviewer will be looking for in a candidate. If you can’t arrive in time for your HVAC job interview, they are bound to be wondering whether you’ll turn up late for work each day. We have all had nightmare commutes in our time and interview day may be no exception. There is nothing you can do if your train is delayed or there’s a bus strike but you can telephone ahead to let the interviewer know what’s happened. That way they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when you miss your time slot. It is worth doing a dummy run if you are driving to the interview so that you know exactly how much time to give yourself and also where to park.
There are few things more off putting for an interviewer than having a candidate in front of them whose mobile phone goes off half way through the conversation. Not only does it show thoughtlessness and lack of respect, it also disrupts the mood and can be very difficult to recover from. A lot of interviewers will even tell you of candidates who have answered their phone mid interview, after which they have been promptly asked to leave.
In business you never know who knows who and where you will meet people again. The person interviewing you may know or have worked closely with a previous employer or colleague of yours but even if they haven’t, they won’t want to hear your opinions. It’s a matter of trust – if you’re saying bad things about past employers, what might you say about future employers? Be diplomatic when discussing other companies and colleagues and keep your views to yourself.