Research the company beforehand
Okay, so mergers and acquisitions are commonplace in the civil engineering industry, but there's no excuse for turning up for an interview at the wrong - if similarly-named - company as one candidate did (Nearly as careless as the candidate who applied for a job with 'Bale for Betty').
Prepare your answers in advance
Mott MacDonald's group personnel manager John Eyers recalls a candidate who, when asked why he wanted a particular job, responded: 'Because it seems secure'.
'He said nothing about relishing the challenge, or making use of his experience and knowledge, ' says Eyers. 'I thought, 'This guy just wants a soft option'.'
Be honest but polite
George Law, personnel manager at Balfour Beatty Rail, recalls an incident relating to the psychometric testing of graduate candidates: 'About 99% agree with our findings, ' he says, 'but there was one applicant who took issue to being classed as argumentative, and asserted perhaps too firmly that she wasn't.'
. . . but not like this
'The best - or should I say worst - candidate I can remember, ' says the human resources manager for a major southeast-based contractor, 'is the one who arrived at the interview and said 'If the terms are good enough, I might consider joining'. Needless to say, it wasn't a very long interview.'