You were one of a few who got in the door for an interview. Don’t mess up now by destroying it. These tips will help you properly prepare and also stay aware of interview pitfalls you want to avoid.
Not being able to verbalize why you are a great candidate.
Unless you know what you bring to the table you won’t be able to verbalize why your next potential employer needs to seriously consider you.
What do you want to be able to verbalize? Your abilities, specific experience, soft skills, other relevant attributes that make you a great professional. You’ll need to get clear on these things way before the interview.
Bad mouthing a previous boss or employer.
Serious red flag. The interviewer knows that an employee who does this to a previous employer will do the same to them. In addition, no one wants someone who is going to bring negativity into their environment or to their staff members. Managers want someone positive and excited to join the team- not a ‘negative Nelly’.
Not being personable. You may be nervous but, try to smile. Smiling brings a warmth and makes others feel comfortable around you. Be personable but not super friendly- remember this is a professional interaction.
Heads up to the ladies, some of us have a tendency to laugh or overly energetic when nervous. Be careful not to do this. You want to be taken seriously so, keep the smile simple and do not laugh alot.
Not knowing what you want.
Know what you want to learn and the areas you want grow in. Get clear on these things before the interview. Where do you see yourself in the years to come? How does this job line up with your professional goals?
Not providing concise, thoughtful answers.
You already know this but, it doesn’t hurt to remind you… you’re answers to the interviewer should be more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. But, be careful not to let your nervousness lead you to talk incessantly.
Unless you are specifically and clearly relating what you are saying back to question at hand, the majority of answers should be concise. As a general rule, the more you say, the greater the likelihood of losing the interviewers attention. You don’t want to go down that road. You want to keep the interviewer engaged by what you are saying. You do this by ensuring that your answers are interesting and carry value.
Not quantifying your accomplishments.
You worked hard to get to this point in your career. You certainly have the accomplishments to prove it. So, you’ll definitely want to share them, as they related to the interviewers questions. To avoid the talking-too-much syndrome, identify your top accomplishments prior to the interview and practice conveying them so you can be clear on what you want to share about each accomplishment.
Lying about yourself
This is absolutely the BIGGEST no-no, for obvious reasons. Outside of it being immoral, unethical and just plain wrong, you will forever soil your name with that employer and hiring manager. And that’s the least of your worries. If they find out about your deception after you are hired, you could be fired immediately. Yes, this happens. I know because I’ve actually fired people when Human Resources discovered the untruths on job applications during background checks, reference checks and routine audits.
Ace your next interview by putting these into action. You’ll feel more confident and peace, which is sure to exude during your interview process.
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