Keep Calm and Get Hired

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Having gone through the process of being a new graduate looking for that perfect job, I can empathise as to how hard it really is, and how nervous it can be when it comes to job interviews!

I was able to catch up with Radhika Chudasama, a recruiter for a cloud company this past week and ask her advice on job interview success. With her experience in recruitment she has interviewed many candidates and currently specialises in  recruiting enterprise sales and technical service specialists.

What are three main qualities a recruiter looks for in a candidate?

‘Preparation for the interview is key’ said Radhika and in particular, research on the company where you are interviewing. It is equally as important to ask your interviewer lots of questions in return, as it is a chance for you to interview them as well as you. First impressions are also very important, so it is vital that a good one be made from the outset.

 They say 90% of all communication is non-verbal would you agree?

Radhika says ‘you can tell within the first few minutes of a candidate walking in as to how the interview will go, so I’d say this is probably true. It is important to have positive body language and make a good first impression. Have a good firm handshake and dress well.’

What kind of attire would be an absolute no no for a job interview for both men and women?

‘Casual clothing such as jeans or shorts is something that I would steer clear from. It is better to dress in a suit, with a tie if a male candidate or even a dress if your female candidate’.

Are there any specific colours a candidate should avoid?

‘It depends on the interview’ said Radhika, Bright colours such as pink and orange may work at a non corporate environment but darker colours are better if you are to interview say for example for an investment bank.

Would you say it is worth spending a little bit extra on interview clothing? Does it make an impact?

‘It is up to you, it depends what you already have in your wardrobe. Some people are more creative than others in creating a good interview look’ Radhika clarified ‘but it’s always worth having a good blazer and something tailored is ideal’ she continued.

Are there any shades of lipstick/eye shadow that would be avoided all together?

‘In terms of eye shadow, I would stay away from loud colours and go for the more natural look and I personally would not wear orange or bright pink lipstick. If you are comfortable wearing red lipstick, a cherry red is good’.

Can you tell me an instance where appearance during interview has made a major impact on the outcome of an interview?

‘There have been instances where candidates have come in and looked at the casual dress code and culture of the company and thought that it would be appropriate to come in for an interview wearing shorts and flip flops. This I can confirm wasn’t received too well by the hiring managers’ described Radhika. Furthermore she explained how in her own job interview she wore a red dress that matched the companies brand colours, and it created a good impression.

Fashion trends this year incorporate elements of floral print as well as the classic monochrome, could these be incorporated in a candidate’s attire?

‘Yes definitely! A nice floral dress for women and maybe a colour block blazer and a floral tie for men, nothing too loud though.

Flats or heels? What would you recommend?

 ‘Whatever you are comfortable in, obviously you don’t want to trip walking into your interview as first impression count but if you can manage it then I would definitely  suggest heels’.

In your experience have you seen a candidate over dress for an interview?

 ‘Yes, recently a candidate came in wearing a tux’ replied Radhika. ‘It was a little OTT, but was noticed by the hiring managers and made us wonder what he was thinking’. she continued, ’it didn’t necessarily create a bad impression but it make us remember him’.

Should a candidate carry a briefcase/handbag? Do you feel it may create a bad impression if it was of an expensive brand?

‘It won’t make a bad impression, if anything it shows the candidate is keeping up with fashion. The most important thing is to be organised, a candidate recently came in and had things all over the place, it made her nervous and made her look unprepared. However a nice simple bag/laptop case is fine’.

In terms of grooming, what works best beard or clean-shaven?

‘Up until recently clean shaven has been the norm, however beards are becoming more accepted’ clarified Radhika and further went on to saying that sometimes people in a more formal work environment feel obligated to be clean shaven.

 Some firms have strict dress codes; do you feel it’s worth doing some research before planning your outfit for an interview with such a firm?

‘It’s good to research the culture of the company, but always dress smart preferably with a tie and blazer’. Additionally she explained ‘if you’re ever in doubt, feel free to double check with the recruiter for more clarity’

Any other advice you can give?

‘Dress well, prepare as much as you can beforehand and ask lots of questions as remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you!’

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