Don't be 'that' person

As a former recruiter, I have interviewed thousands of people for all manner of roles. I noticed that many candidates would do the same things to negatively impact their chances of progressing through to the next stage. After chatting with some colleagues at the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association conference in Port Douglas last week, I thought I would share some common themes that came through in our discussions.


When a candidate is late, it negatively impacts the recruiter's perception of them. The interview hasn't even started and you are on the back foot. Plan to be outside the building where the interview will take place 20 minutes early. This should give you enough time that if you get a flat tyre, can't find a park or get stuck in traffic, you will make the interview on time.

Argue about filling in the application form


I got annoyed when I asked a candidate to fill in our application form and they replied "why do I have to do this?" or "it's already in my CV!" You will not have in your CV whether you have any criminal convictions or signed authority to contact your verbal referees. Get onside with the recruiter at the start of the interview and build a positive rapport - take the application form, smile and fill it in.

Unclear CV

A quality CV clearly maps out your career history, achievements and relevance to the role you are applying for. However, too many come across as some sort of jumbled "career manifesto", that make it difficult for an interviewer to quickly assess key data. Ensure your CV flows well, and sells you to the job you are applying.

Not prepared

It's always frustrating when a candidate has not prepared properly. Practise before an interview so you can clearly articulate what your strengths are, why you want to move on from your current employer and why there is "that gap" in your career history.

When people have no questions

Your turn to ask questions about the role and the company is your "time to shine". However, in response to the question "do you have any questions you would like to ask us", too many candidates answer with a very disappointing "no".

This is a golden chance to highlight your interest in the role. Go in with a number of questions, and if you don't have any at the end of the interview, say in response to the above question "I did, but you have answered them all for me - thank you".

Following the above tips will ensure you get onside with your recruiter early on, opening the doors to exciting career opportunities.

Tom O'Neil is an award winning business speaker, best-selling international author and www.CV.CO.NZ.