10 ways to kill your chances of an Interview

Ange Connor

You’ve submitted your application for a job you’ve seen advertised and now it’s time to wait and see if you make it through to the first round of interviews. I’m guessing that because you’ve submitted an application, you are genuinely interested in the role and actually want to get to the interview stage. I’m never too sure though as it never ceases to amaze me how many people go to the effort of submitting an application then shoot themselves in the foot and kill their chances of getting through to the interview stage.

Here are the top 10 ways to kill any chance you have of getting to the interview stage:

  1. Not returning calls – If you don’t call us back it’s pretty impossible for us to book you in for that interview. A recruiter might give you a couple chances, trying you a few times, leaving you a message or two and following up with an email but we won’t chase you forever.
  2. Calling and asking stupid questions – This does nothing for your credibility. By stupid questions I mean asking questions that have clearly been answered in the job advert, eg. How do you apply? What email address can I send my application to? If you want to call and enquire, great, just ask questions that highlight your intelligence and don’t leave us wondering if you can follow instructions.
  3. Applying for every job we have – The serial job applier! We have people who have applied for EVERY job we advertise, from a qualified CPA Accountant to a Labourer to a Project Manager. It looks poor. We want to see that you genuinely want this particular job. Why waste your time applying for positions that you don’t have the qualifications and experience for? The scatter gun approach of applying for anything and everything never works.
  4. Text Messaging – The whole recruitment process cannot be conducted via text message, at some stage you are going to have to have an actual conversation with us. We want to see your verbal communication skills.
  5. No knowledge of the job or company – Most people managing a recruitment process will call and ask you a few questions or conduct a phone interview before asking you in for a first round interview. Being able to demonstrate that you know something about the company and have read and thought about what the job actually involves is crucial.
  6. Language – The language you use in your application and in those initial phone discussions makes an impression. This week I’ve been called everything from Love to Dude to Mate…… And swearing at this stage of the process is out. Don’t get me wrong, I swear just as much as the next person but there is a time and place for swearing and calling people Love and it’s not during the recruitment process.
  7. Being a poor listener – Repeatedly talking over the recruiter, cutting them off and not answering the question is a sure fire way to kill your chances of getting to interview. We are thinking if you are a poor listener at this stage of the process how are you going to listen and take instruction in the workplace.
  8. Not submitting a resume – In the majority of cases we want to see a resume. Submitting an application without your resume attached when it clearly states we need a resume is immediately going to rule you out. Simply stating in an email that you can do the job and you have the required experience isn’t enough to secure an interview, we need more info.
  9. Not being available or flexible to attend an interview – Most recruiters will try and be as flexible as possible in fitting you in for an interview but you’ll need to show some flexibility in return. Yes, if you are working, juggling your work commitments and fitting in an interview can be difficult. At the end of the day the recruiter will be on a timeline and can’t keep a job open forever waiting for you to be able to attend an interview.
  10. Tone of Voice / Enthusiasm / Motivation – When you are talking to a recruiter over the phone it’s not just what you say, it’s equally as much about HOW you say it. Sounding flat, dis-interested, de-motivated or distracted is not going to leave us wanting to invite you in for an interview.

It’s a competitive job market at the moment. If you do genuinely want the position you’ve submitted an application for you need to stand out from the crowd by making a memorable first impression for all the right reasons.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

Hand drawn outline of mobile phone, laptop, cup of tea and book from a birdseye view.
Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to get in touch

What would happen if you spent just one hour focusing on your people strategy? Contact us to book your free one hour Inspire HQ People Hour; we’ll help you assess how to build a better workplace.
Megan and Ange are sitting in the Inspire HQ boardroom talking to a man and showing him a report with DiSC in the background.
Contact Us