You are excited! Life is good; you landed your first interview. Congratulations! Now what?
Now you avoid making the seven worst makes that job candidates make when interviewing.
Yes, it’s all too often true that job candidates make terrible mistakes, preventable mistakes… when eager to land that coveted position with a company they desperately want to work with.
Can you avoid landing in that hot spot?
The good news is that yes you can, with proper attention to detail and a little hard work.
Many newbies to the interview process make these mistakes simply because they don’t know any better. Even seasoned professionals make some of the sins of job interviewing. Some, because they believe they are above the job interview process.
Others, because they simply do not know any better. If you can stop making some of the cardinal errors prone to dozens of job candidates, you just might find yourself hired, instead of constantly searching.
7 Deadly Sins
- You’ll take any job. This is a sign of desperation and depression. It is good to be eager to work, but you don’t want to seem desperate for a job, or anxious. Hiring managers want to hire the best candidate for a job, not any candidate for a job. They can’t afford to hire someone that will say, “Sure, I am great, and I will do anything. Hire me.” Take your time and show them that you are an expert in a specific job task. Many people will do anything to work particularly in desperate times, but if you are anxious and overly eager, then an employer will call you out on it, and avoid hiring you.
- Don’t ramble. This is a sign of anxiety. It is normal to be anxious, to a point. But most hiring managers want confident candidates. Try taking some deep breaths before your job interview. Focus on your strengths. While it is normal to have a little anxiety, it is not normal to go into an interview perspiring, shaking and rambling on and on. This may raise a red flag.
- Have a weakness. Most employers these days will ask you what your weakness is. So don’t try to pretend that you don’t have one. Come up with something. If you can, find something that you need to improve on that isn’t directly tied to the immediate job duties that you will be performing for the employer. Some hiring managers are really persistent about pulling this out of candidates. Even if you have excellent work reviews, and outstanding performance reviews, the hiring manager will want you to talk about things you can improve on, so come up with something to talk about. And, talk about how you turned this into a positive. Make sure you satisfy the employer’s curiosity, or you will get a red line on your interview application.
- Tardiness and lateness. Never arrive late for an interview. Most employers will automatically discard your interview. It doesn’t matter if you had a legitimate reason for being late. Even if you allowed yourself an extra hour to get to the employer, most employers frown on tardiness. So there was an accident that set you behind an hour? Too bad. Plan to be at the interview at least 30 minutes early, and sit in your car. Most human resource managers are unforgiving when it comes to tardiness. Some hiring managers recommend driving to the interview site the day before, and scoping out the seen, predicting possible snags, including traffic jams, and working around them. While this may seem excessive, it will save you a lot of heartache in today’s extremely competitive job market.
- Not knowing about the company. Nothing is more hazardous to your odds of landing a job than not knowing about a potential employer. If you want to win, and then know everything there is to know about a potential employer. Research the company. Do a proper investigation. Learn who it is you plan to work for.
- Badmouthing or talking poorly about previous coworkers and supervisors. If you say anything negative about anyone you used to work with, you will not get hired. Period. There is no excuse for this. The odds are good that if you say something to one hiring manager, word may spread. Always use your interview as an opportunity to speak of your past employment experiences in a positive light. You might try speaking of your employment experiences in terms of learning opportunities. Remember this is an opportunity for a new beginning.
- Not knowing what job you are interviewing for. Many candidates apply for so many jobs, that when they are called in for an interview, they then forget the details of the job that they applied for. Nothing will get you tossed out faster than salad than a mix-up in the opportunities you are interviewing for. If you have back-to-back interviews, make sure you have an organizer handy that includes a job description for each interview you have scheduled for the day. Separate the job duties, description and names of the people that you plan to meet with. Make sure you write down pertinent details, including the salaries of the different jobs, company names and other pertinent details. Make a good impression when you go in.
Other employee faux pas that have caused employees to lose job opportunities have included cell phones beeping in the middle of interviews, poor hygiene, and inattention during interviews. If a hiring manager asks you a question, be sure to look them in the eye, and provide a succinct and direct answer. Show a little personality, and you just may win out over other, less prepared candidates in today’s wild and whacky job market.