Top recruiters dish 8 interview mistakes to avoid

“Grandma Dawn is turning 89 this year and still comes to the office every day,” says Natalie Levine over coffee (mine) and mint lemonade (hers).  She can’t drink caffeine after 2pm, “or she’ll be up all night,” explains her sister Emily.

The referenced “office” is Century City-based Career Group Companies, a staffing firm specializing in full-time and temporary placement of administrative staff for today’s leading companies. Founded in 1981 by the sisters’ then 25-year-old mother, Susan Levine, it remains a family run business.

Emily serves as Vice President, Natalie as Senior Account Manager, and dad, Michael Levine is CEO. Grandma Dawn, “in her Chanel and Etro,” is an office staple.

“Our mom was a pioneer of the boutique staffing firm,” says Natalie, “when staffing was all about making the deal, instead of the people side of the business.”

It’s this hands-on people-centric approach that propels Career Groups clients’ businesses forward and makes a difference in applicant’s lives. The company now employs approximately 150 people with offices in LA, New York, Redwood Shores, San Francisco, and Connecticut.

Candidates come to Career Group Companies by appointment only and leading companies rely on the CGC to deliver top notch direct hire and freelance/temp candidates for their open jobs. “We are essentially job match makers,” they explain. “We grant candidates access to exclusive companies, and we serve as their counselors along the way. We are there for every step of the process, from assisting with their resumes, interview tips, delivering the offer, and more.”

Jobs are their job. And we make jobs are our business.

So for the graduating class of 2018, who better to ask the do’s and don’ts of the interviewing process? According to Emily and Natalie here are 8 common mistakes you should avoid:

1. Not writing a thank you note

Or not proofreading a thank you note. This is a chance to show off your writing skills, so a typo in a follow-up letter is most definitely a red flag. It’s important to thank the interviewer for their time. Hiring managers want to move forward with candidates who leave a positive impression and have good manners!

2. Not asking questions at the end of an interview

Even if an interviewer is extremely thorough during the meeting, it’s always important to convey interest and come prepared with questions. A lot of applicants don’t realize that they should ask questions.

3. Not blocking your social media

Most companies are checking Instagram, Facebook, Google searches, IMDB, and more. You shouldn’t have anything (public) on the internet that you wouldn’t want HR at a company to see before even meeting you. First impressions cannot be taken back and it’s important to remember that companies are concerned with their own reputation, and want to bring people into their companies that are aware of their presence.

4. Don’t lie on your resume

If you didn’t receive a college degree, do not put that you graduated! Fact check your GPA. Triple check your dates of employment. Candidates will lose offers at the end of an interview process if a background check exposes falsifications on the resume or application. Honesty is the best policy here, always.

5. Don’t inflate your previous salary

Be accurate about your previous salary. Don’t inflate your previous salary to get a higher offer. Companies will pull w2s to verify earnings more often than not. If you didn’t make the dollars, it doesn’t make sense to pretend you did.

Job Application Tip: “Don’t inflate your previous salary to get a higher offer.”
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6. Never be late. Ever

Being on time means being 10 minutes early. You need to allot time for parking problems, traffic, and any to other unforeseen circumstances. There is no excuse to be late to an interview because it shows a lack of foresight and consideration that you will likewise bring to the position.

7. Leave the coffee in the car

Don’t bring a beverage to the meeting (it’s too casual), don’t chew gum, don’t have your cell phone out or on, and make sure you aren’t wearing a lot of cologne or perfume.

8. Don’t forget to do your research

Do your homework on the company you are interviewing for! That goes for the person you are interviewing with as well.

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