Over my career I have probably interviewed thousands of candidates for various positions. As the Director of Human Resources for Kingspan North America, I have the opportunity to interact with our job applicants and employees on a daily basis. I also spend time interviewing candidates for positions within Kingspan, which is an aspect of my job I really enjoy.
Here are some things to think about when you are heading into an interview that you may not be aware of.
1. Be very nice to the receptionist - HR and your interviewing manager just might go ask her what she thought of you. Were you nice? Did you say please and thank you or did you treat her like a second class citizen? One of my receptionist's years ago let me know that the candidate that I had just interviewed was hitting on her while waiting for me. He kept asking her for her number even after she told him that she had a boyfriend and that she was not interested. He did not get the job.
2. Have a strong handshake - There is nothing worse than a wimpy handshake! I don't care what your gender, please don't give me the limp hand. It really shows a huge lack of self-confidence and starts you off on the wrong foot. Also, don't shake my hand gently because I am a woman. That is even worse. I may take you back and talk to you but your interview will definitely be cut short. Remember, my impression of you is formed within the first minute of meeting you.
3. Keep up the pace! - When I walk you back to my office from the front lobby, keep up! Nothing says "I'm lazy" better than if I look back and you are 15 feet behind me. I once worked with a VP of Sales that used this technique to weed out candidates. His office was actually quite a long walk from the front lobby and he almost sprinted it. He always hired the ones that kept up…
4. Do not tell me about your personal life - Although it is tempting to share your medical history with me, please don't! Keep it to business. I don't want to know about your spouse, your kids, your home life or anything else that does not have to do with business. Plus, this sort of information can be construed as discriminatory, so shhhhh.
5. Please dress for an interview - I don't care if we are business casual. Wear a suit and tie. And whatever you do please do not call me the day before to ask me about the dress code and what you should wear. It is an INTERVIEW. Not a hard concept.
When interviewing, you should be on your best behavior. That is what is expected. If you are relaxed and casual at your interview what will you be like on a day to day basis at work?
At Kingspan North America we are constantly evaluating our talent pool and have recently launched our new grad program. This is an opportunity to start out with a company right out of college and grow and be mentored by the best in the IMP manufacturing business. For job opportunities at Kingspan North America, remember to check out our constantly updated careers page.
I hope my blog about interviewing helps you land that next great job--hopefully with us, at Kingspan Insulated Panels!
Andrea will be posting blogs in the coming months regarding Human Resources. Andrea Lackemacher started with Kingspan in March of 2011. She lives in Florida with her husband and son. Her hobbies are ballroom dancing, traveling and running having recently completed her first half-marathon at Walt Disney World with her husband. Andrea would love to hear your comments and HR questions!