Posted in Career Best Practices
Ever walk out of a job interview thinking: "Well, I bombed that."
Most of us have! Job interviews can be extremely stressful. Hiring managers can be intimidating. And we all have "off" days when we're not performing at our best.
But making excuses and pointing fingers don't lead to job offers.
What does? Preparation, practice and exceptional performance in the interview. Oh – and, of course, avoiding these major job interview mistakes:
Going in blind. There's a wealth of information available about your potential employer that can help you: demonstrate how well you've prepared for the interview; explain why you're the best person for the job; and pose thoughtful questions.
If you want to bomb the interview, ignore it all! But if you really want the job, do your homework.
Start with the company website. And don’t just skim through the information – really read it. Learn everything you can about the organization’s history, mission, lines of business and key personnel. Next, Google the company and check the News tab. Don't forget to look over their LinkedIn presence, too. When you head into your interview, you’ll have a level of knowledge and confidence that will shine through – and set you apart from other candidates.
Failing at the basics. Regardless of the employer or position, all interviewers have certain fundamental expectations. Do these things and you're sure to make a lousy impression:
- Arrive late or arrive more than 10 minutes early. It indicates that you didn't plan, can't manage time or have absolutely no regard for others' schedules.
- Offer a flimsy handshake. While you don't want to crush the hiring manager's hand, you should offer a firm grip and shake two or three times before releasing. While you're at it, make appropriate eye contact and offer a warm smile.
- Dress inappropriately. Even if you're interviewing for a manufacturing job, your clothes should still be clean, neat and one notch above what's required for the job. Failure to do so conveys that you don’t really care about the job opportunity enough to dress appropriately.
- Speak negatively about a former employer or co-worker. Regardless of the truth of your statements, speaking ill of others never reflects positively on you.
Tanking on standard interview questions. There's absolutely zero excuse for not nailing the answers to common interview questions like: "Why should we hire you?" Stack the deck in your favor by researching the best answers to common questions for the type of job you want. Then, practice talking points that highlight what makes you unique. In this post, PrideStaff shares tips for answering standard interview questions.
Not connecting the dots. Want a surefire way to be excluded from consideration? Focus on your shortcomings. But if you want the job, show the interviewer why you're the ideal choice for it. If you're concerned you don't have all the required abilities and experience, highlight your transferable job skills – and share ideas for how you can quickly close any skills gaps you may have. When you clearly explain the value you bring to the table, you position yourself as a great fit for the job.
Looking for a job?
PrideStaff can put you to work quickly. When you apply with us, we can help you:
- improve your resume and polish your interviewing skills;
- broaden your experience with a variety of temporary assignments;
- earn money while you look for a full-time job.