As follow-up to our initial post of careless mistakes that hurt your chances of a successful interview, we are sharing part two on the series in today’s blog. The job search market is very competitive. The more you perform your best during the search process, the better your chances are of landing your ideal job. So, you have applied for multiple positions because they appeal to you and you can actually see yourself in some or all of the roles. But, time keeps ticking and calls are few. Suddenly! You get the call and an invitation to a personal meeting is offered to you. Now what?
The next phase is often left up to us; so, if we can avoid the mistakes outlined below and shine as their ideal candidate–we just might have a fighting chance. I’m sure you share my sentiment when I say that sometimes all we want is the opportunity of a face to face meeting to articulate our skills and talents. However, a number of potential positions are lost during the actual interview because of mistakes that we can easily avoid. Avoiding such mistakes can get you to the next phase and hopefully you’ll hear the coveted words, we’d like to offer you the job! Take a look at the second list of blunders often made during job interviews.
1. Failing to research the employer in advance: This is an absolute costly mistake. Why would an employer take you sincerely as a candidate if you fail to take the time to learn basic information about the company? I have been in management for years and cringe whenever I ask a candidate what they know about my employer and they can’t recite basic information clearly outlined on our website. My ideal candidate always knew critical information, which increased the likelihood of making the cut. Due diligence on a potential company is a must–especially if you want to get hired.
2. Forgetting to have a copy of the resume: Serious candidates adequately prepare for interviews. You should anticipate that the person with whom you will meet doesn’t know who you are and has never seen your resume. With that in mind, you should make sure to have a copy for yourself and everyone else that you’re scheduled to meet with that day. I simply cannot over emphasize the importance of being well prepared and having sufficient copies of your resumes.
3. Not being prepared to answer basic questions: If you cannot succinctly tell your interviewer who you are professionally and walk them through your work history in five (5) minutes or less without appearing rushed means you’re not prepared. Tell Me About Yourself (TMAY) counseling/coaching is one of my favorite exercises. If you are not sure what to say or how to respond to this basic level of questioning, you should seek the expertise of an interview coach. Style & Travel Daily is prepared to help you master your interview through our highly popular career services. Visit www.styleandtraveldaily.com for more information.
4. Wearing the Bluetooth accessory: Some of you may ask, is he serious? Yes, I am. There are a number of employers that note this as an increasing problem. Nothing is more distracting than a contraption wrapped around your ear with a blinking blue light while they are trying to determine whether you’re a fit with the company. We recommend you leave it in the car.
5. Failing to forget the content of your resume: As a professional resume writer I typically ask my clients several times if they are comfortable with the content of their resume before converting the draft resume to a final document. The reason for the question is to make sure that they feel comfortable answering any question they could get based on their work history. I recommend that you review your resume before each interview session to reacquaint yourself with your accomplishments. If that is not an incentive, consider that the interviewer may think you’ve embellished your accomplishments and may not take you seriously as a candidate. So review again and go prepared!
6. Wearing your Sunglasses: Honestly, sunglasses are for outside wear/use. Unless you’re interviewing outdoors in a very sunny venue, I recommend leaving them off your face and out of your hair. In other words, don’t even use them as an accessory. Please no e-mails or calls from the Fashionistas. Again, who do you think will take you seriously if you look like you’re filming a music video? Like the Bluetooth, leave the sunglasses in the car.
7. Asking about salary requirements before you’re offered the job: This comes off making you look very desperate. Play it cool by waiting for the actual job offer. Now, if you get asked the question there is an appropriate response. How embarrassing for you if you quote a salary requirement that is below the salary they planned to offer you. Once you put it out there, they just may take you up on your offer. So wait and make sure that both you and the interviewer are sure that you’re both a good fit for each other. When they finally make the offer, then it’s time to decide what to do next. (That’s another blog subject).
8. Using conversation fillers: This can be very frustrating to an interviewer, and painful to listen to as well. At all cost, please avoid using words and phrases such as, “Ahh”, “Umm”, “You know what I’m saying”,etc. Truth be told, they don’t know what you’re saying and chances are they won’t say you’re hired! Just pause without a sound and without making it look like you’re in pain by simply answering the question. If you need more time to gather your thoughts, just ask them to repeat the question. Practicing your responses in advance should help with this issue. Again, you should seek the help of an interview coach or strategist if this is a problem you have noted.
9. Not making eye contact: You really want the interviewer to trust you and believe that you are being your authentic self. Making eye contact is one of the best ways to convey confidence and show some personality while keeping the listener engaged in your conversation. I recommend practicing this activity even with friends and family. The more you are used to looking people in the eye when talking to them, the more of a habit it becomes.
10. Sitting before the interviewer does: Remember, if they invited you to the party, you dance to their music. I recall interviewing a young woman once for a manager position and before I could close the door to begin the interview, she was already in my seat and moving my notes to the other side of the table. Besides being bad etiquette, the action was a costly mistake for the candidate. Believe me, she never made the “short” list and it was probably my shortest interview ever. Do not take your seat until your host (interviewer) takes theirs!
Your success is our concern. The information in this particular blog is not to over-simplify or even exaggerate mistakes by creating fictitious examples. Instead, these acts have been documented as popular reasons why a number of interviews were disastrous and might have contributed to the delay in the job-search process. When in doubt, connect with interview coaching experts like, Style & Travel Daily for more helpful pointers. Remember, keep your competitive edge by avoiding these mistakes and you’ll claim the job that is designed just for you!
Until next time…here’s to your success!
Style & Travel Daily