b'LEADERSHIP GUIDE|Knowing little or nothing about the companyan answer can be beneficial, Neft said. Stickfully construct those messages before send-is a sign of not being prepared, said Neft, andto the facts and to the qualifications neededing them. We dont get as many of those candidates should peruse the website to get afor the position as it relates to your ownemails as we used to, but I still believe that broad perspective of the companys descrip- experiences.it is proper etiquette to send them, and your tion, mission, and goals prior to the interview.For example, people tend to give too manypresence in an email holds some weight, Neft I like to ask about the general information ofopinions or talk too much about personalsaid. Especially with positions that require the company and see what candidates know.experiences when asked, Why do you wantgood communication skillsI read a lot into However, it is also important to not try toto work here? Frantz said. When I ask thatan email. Youre supposed to put your best develop phantom talking points in the momentquestion, it should elicit a straightforwardfoot forward in all of the communication you when asked questions about the companyanswer. Someone once told me, I want toshare, and if your email messages arent full during the conversation if the candidate haswork here because my parents were incar- sentences, then you might not get the job. And a lack of knowledge about the organization.cerated. Thats completely unrelated andsome employers are going to start observing Theres been times when Ive asked someone,unnecessary. with someones cover letter. What do you know about the company? andIn some instances, candidates may recognizeMichel said he also pays attention to the theyve just made things up thats not related toduring an interview that they are not answeringsignature in emails, and if youre sending the company at all, and thats never a good idea,a question as effectively as theyd like to, or theyemail from your phone and youre looking for Michel said. Or people sit there and knowmight want to gather a few thoughts togetheryour typos to be excused, I dont think that completely nothing. In those instances, Ill trybefore moving forward with a response. Insets a good tone, he said. The cell phone itself to take a moment to educate them at least.those instances, asking the interview for a fewcan also be problematic if brought into an moments to think things through or asking forinterview, Neft said. The use of cell phones CLEARLY AND CONCISELYpermission to restart a response (or asking theduring interviews is unbelievable, she contin-COMMUNICATING interviewer to restate a question) are all wel- ued. Turn your phone to silent, or dont bring Whether its about the company, the job, orcomed and appreciated requests.it with you at all. Sitting with a phone in your oneself, speaking directly in response to spe- Ive had applicants ask me, Can I thinklap as were interviewing doesnt tell me youre cific questions that are asked remains para- about that question for a moment? Neft said,engaged in the conversation. mount. One of the biggest mistakes that HRand absolutely Im going to allow you to do professionals encounter is when intervieweesthat. This is your moment. Any interviewerINTERVIEWING THE INTERVIEWERspeak at length without addressing the actualshould appreciate that, but a good way to avoidAssuming that all candidates will be given the information being sought. this situation is to slow the moment down andchance to ask their own questions before the Candidates often provide too much infor- focus more on listening to questions and notconversation concludes, the importance of this mation thats not relevant to the questionget too caught up with deciding what you wantphase cannot be understated. The perceived when theyre speaking with me, Michel said.to say before you hear the question. effort behind ones development of questions Ill ask a specific question, but the responseIts also important to not feel a false sense offor the employer will portray not just prepara-might include a lot of information that is notsecurity following a productive phone screen- tion, but engagement and a sense that the can-needed and does not address the question. Iting conversation and remember to answerdidate is the best person for the job. could be personal information that they wantquestions fully while interviewing face to face.The best questions I have received are to share about themselves, which can be a signCandidates need to remember that thearound culture, Streelman said. Examples of nervousness and/or a lack of preparationphone call only narrows the pool, so there isinclude asking me to describe my leadership from the perspective of the interviewer. It isno guarantee that the position will be offered,style and questions about teamwork, chal-much more important to actually answer theStreelman said. The manager will leave thelenges, and projects. This shows that the can-question.position vacant rather than hire the wrongdidate is considering their fit within the team Michel, Neft, and Streelman all acknowl- person.and with the manager. edge that the most challenging aspect forThat said, regardless of how the conversa- Candidates should also be prepared with interviewees is to express everything that theytion proceeds, displaying confidence is alwaysdetailed examples of how they handled dif-want to share in a rather brief period of timean attractive quality. People have to remem- ferent on-the-job situations, not only with during the interview. A willingness to focusber that they wouldnt have been brought in ifpatients but also with their peers, Streelman on the questions being asked as opposed tothe employer didnt think they had the poten- added. When a candidate does not have any trying to decide what you want to say abouttial to do the job effectively, Neft said. This isspecific details and generalizes their answers, yourself is the suggested approach.also your chance to sell yourself. it does not give the manager enough informa-Sometimes, people may feel the need toHR professionals also stress the value thattion on the candidates behavior and how they rush into a response, so taking a moment topost-interviewing communications hold, suchwould react to situations, she said. This can reflect on whats being asked before you giveas thank you emails, and the need to care- hurt their chances of getting the job.n34 LEADERSHIP GUIDE|2020| www.elitecme.com'