Common Job Interview Mistakes


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FAILING TO RESEARCH THE EMPLOYER IN ADVANCE

Have you ever been asked, “Why would you like to work for this company?” Researching a company before an interview will prepare you to answer these types of questions with confidence. Knowing a few key facts about the company and the position in which you are applying for will show your interest in the organization as a whole, rather than just another job.

 

ARRIVING LATE

Arriving late to an interview should be avoided at all cost! Always get to the interview at least fifteen minutes early. Arriving late shows a lack of effort, preparation and courtesy. It can leave the interviewer with the impression that you will be unable to arrive to work on time, miss deadlines, or that you are not that interested in the job. If you have an emergency that prevents you from arriving on time, notify the interviewer as soon as possible.

 

FORGETTING TO TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF

Not turning off your cell phone during an interview is rude. To ensure your cell phone does not interrupt your interview, leave it at home or in your car. A ringing or vibrating cell phone during an interview indicates a lack of professionalism and respect for the interviewer’s time. If you can’t make it through the interview without your cell phone, the interviewer may view this as an ongoing distraction if you were to get the job. If there is an emergency situation that requires you to bring your cell phone, please disclose prior to the beginning of the interview.

 

MAKING NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT PREVIOUS EMPLOYERS OR MANAGERS

The interview is the time to highlight your relevant skills, experience and accomplishments. Focus on what you can contribute to the position and to the company. Do not use this opportunity to bad-mouth your former manager or employer. Employers are looking for competent, experienced employees who are team players, focused, driven, and results oriented, not a complainer. Even if your comments are true, you will surely leave a negative impression with the interviewer. The way you talk about your last employer is how the interviewer will assume you will talk about them.

 

NOT ASKING QUESTIONS

At the conclusion of your interview, the interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?” This is an opportunity! It’s not the time to panic and say, “NO!” Prior to the interview, have a minimum of three open-ended questions that are relevant to the company and/or the position to which you are applying. This shows a genuine interest for the job. Some questions to ask include:

 

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the position?
  • How will my performance be measured?
  • If I perform well in this position, where do you see me in five years?
  • What do you like best about working here?
  • What are the company's plans for growth over the next five years?
  • What are the company's strengths and weaknesses, compared to its competitors?
  • What qualifications should an employee possess to be successful in this position?
  • What are some challenges facing the person in this position?
  • Are there any unique elements of the job that I should know about? 
  • How many people would I be managing?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?

 

LYING ABOUT YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

There are many reasons that may prompt someone to lie or exaggerate in an interview. Anything from why you left your last job, embellishing your work experience, how much money you made at your previous job, about your education, gaps in employment and more. Be honest, and most importantly focus on how your skills, education and experience relates to the job at hand.

 

TALKING TOO MUCH

When asked a question, we sometimes feel the need to explain everything. The interviewer isn’t interested in hearing your life story. To avoid talking too much, prepare your answers ahead of time, role-play with a friend or family member, and try to keep your answers to 30 seconds in length. This will ensure your responses are well thought out, deliberate, and to the point.

 

NOT TALKING ENOUGH

Out of hundreds of resumes you have made it to the interview. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. What happens during the interview? The interviewer is asking questions and you respond with a word or two. This will most likely cost you the job. Before the interview, you should review potential interview questions, rehearse your responses, and most importantly make sure your responses are relevant to the job in which you are seeking.

 

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

Non-verbal skills are equally as important as verbal skills. Avoiding eye contact, folding your arms, slouching in your chair and fidgeting can wreck your chance at having a successful interview. However subtle, nonverbal communication can project a lack of confidence or a lack of professionalism. Remember, nonverbal skills are being evaluated the minute you walk through the door. Always exhibit excellent posture, a firm handshake, establish eye contact and remain poised at all times. 

 

FAILURE TO FOLLOW-UP

Always follow up with the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. This is the opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position and the company, and to highlight relevant skills and accomplishments.


Article by Fort Bend Works



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