When an employer has to make a call on whether you are the one for the job, impressions count.
The decision to hire is based equally on your track record and on the hiring team’s impression of you. Did they see you as a professional? Serious about the job? Committed? It’s that judgement call that can mean the difference between whether you got the job or not; sometimes , that judgement is based on just a few words.
Read on for 1-liners that you should never use during a job search.
“I am on my way, stuck in traffic”
So you could not find the office, or you found it difficult to get away from your current job. We are all guilty of using this excuse when running late for an interview. However, no one is really buying it anymore. After all, you should have/could have left early enough to take care of an unexpected hold-up.
The possible takeaways: ‘not professional’ or ‘casual’
What you should do: Drop this excuse permanently from your list. While not being on time for an interview is not ideal, it’s better to give the real reason for being late. The ideal approach is to call and let the team know that you are running late, apologise and if there is a next time – get there on time.
“I need some more time to think”
This 1-liner makes its appearance when one is weighing up job options or waiting for a counter-offer. Coming up with a series of excuses that keeps the recruiter on hold can back-fire. A hiring team continuously evaluates how committed you are, and if they turn to someone else, you could be the one who is caught on the backfoot.
Possible takeaway for the employer: ‘not really interested’ or (worse) ‘opportunistic’
What you should do: Ask for a reasonable amount of time, at most a few days or a week if you are waiting for another offer. A longer wait could get the employer thinking about why you want more time. When that happens, clearly put your terms on the table. Decide what will be acceptable, rather than wanting the ‘best’ possible terms. Sign on the dotted line if the offer meets this number.
“I sent the mail but it has bounced”
After the telephonic-interview with the recruitment consultant, you get caught up in other things. Maybe you could not put together the updated resume/other documents that you were supposed to send. What should you say when you have them ready or when the consultant calls to remind you? Excuses like – ‘I have already sent the mail, let me resend it’, ‘I sent the mail, it bounced’ are a no-no.
Possible takeaway for the employer: ‘laid-back’ or ‘unreliable’
What you should do: Consider this simple answer – “Got caught up at work, doing it right away”. Owing up to mistakes and genuinely rectifying them are valuable assets in your job search as it is in every other aspect of your life. Everyone knows it’s tough to juggle a job search with a job. And yes, an apology can’t hurt.
Finally, remember that not taking a call will send out its own message. Honest communication and open channels are the best way forward in your job search!