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The Top 5: Candidate Dos and Don’ts

Copier Careers® Toner in the Blood

Candidate Interview Tips

We’re currently in a candidate’s job market which means some power has shifted to the other side of the interview table. This is a first for many candidates, especially those in technical roles. While this market can bring exciting opportunities, it’s important to remember these candidate dos and don’ts:

  1. DO your research. You have more attractive options now than ever before so researching the companies before interviewing will help you narrow the field and avoid potential pitfalls. If you’re working with our recruiters, ask them plenty of questions and tell them what you’re looking for – they want to find you a company for the long-haul. You’ll also find that employers will really respond to you if you’re interested and excited about their business. The industry is evolving rapidly and employers are looking for change-makers to help them grow!
  2. DON’T ghost. Please, please, please don’t disappear on your recruiter or interviewer! We most commonly see candidates ghost because they don’t want to say “no.” Trust us – “no” is not a big deal. A “no” to your recruiter just gives them a better idea of what opportunities you’ll say “yes” to in the future. And a “no” to a prospective employer – especially in this market – could lead to a better offer! Ghosting during the interview process means burning a bridge with that company and with the recruiter who’s trying to help you. Who will want to interview you if they can’t trust you to show up? While saying “no” might be scarier for some, ghosting brings a lot more risks.
  3. DO talk about what you want. We’re in a very unique time and it won’t last forever. This is an opportunity for industry professionals looking for a change to get some of what they want. Employers need employees and many of them are making big changes to be more attractive to candidates. If there’s something you want, something that would keep you loyal to the company that provided it – speak up! This is also where your company research comes in – it’ll help you keep your asks reasonable (no ponies). Talk about your ideas and how they could fit with the company’s stated goals. Employers are looking for incentives to get candidates to buy-in so your ideas could be valuable to them.
  4. DON’T take counter offers. We can’t emphasize this enough – most candidates who accept counter offers with their current employers call us looking for a way out within the first year. And, unfortunately, most employers are hesitant to talk to you again if you back out after accepting their first job offer. If money is the only reason you wanted to leave, then taking a counter offer might work out but you’ll likely find it harder to get raises over the next few years. If you had other complaints, throwing money at you won’t resolve them. You’ll come in on Monday to the same career path, company culture, benefits package, inflexible hours and anything else that left you dissatisfied. What’s more – you may have a target on your back if your manager thinks your job hunting was ‘disloyal.’ We’ve seen this happen dozens and dozens of times – counter offers are not long-term solutions and they often limit your future options. Beware!
  5. DO maintain your professionalism throughout the process – AKA watch your tone(r). If you’ll excuse that terrible pun, let’s talk seriously for a minute. It’s likely that most candidates have never had this much leverage in the interview process before. While it’s tempting to let that power go to your head, we want to caution candidates against being reckless. Remember that you are interviewing to work for and/or with these people. No employer, no matter how desperate, will hire someone they couldn’t tolerate working with or who would cause problems for their existing team. Nor will they be willing to interview you in future. Remember that part of the interview process involves assessing your judgment. If you come in with a poisonous attitude, full of stories about old jobs that did you wrong, you’re demonstrating poor judgment. If you try to take out your frustrations on someone you just met, that’s poor judgment. If you make demands way beyond the reasonable – you guessed it – that’s poor judgment. Demonstrating your professionalism from the start tells them they can count on you to do the same day-to-day. Keeping this discipline will serve you far better in the long-run.

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We recruit for any role from techs to executives and everything in between. We are dedicated to helping the industry’s best professionals find careers with top employers. Browse our job board or submit your resume today!