10 Common Mistakes We Make During Interviews
This week’s guest post was written by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org, a Houston based freelance writer and blogger.
Today’s job market is tough, with numerous candidates applying for each position. If skills are a match with some fellow competitors, the selection may be made solely based on personality and interviewing skills. To improve the odds of getting hired avoid making these 10 interviewing mistakes.
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1. Poor Time Management
Failure to arrive on the appropriate day and in a timely manner may cause a prospective employer to cancel your interview altogether. Even if the interview does commence, a late arrival will not show you in your best light, nor give the opportunity to speak with a calm and focused approach. To help avoid being late, practise the travel route in advance. Also make it a point to verify time and date after the initial schedule is set.
2. Ill Preparation
Interviews are not to be taken lightly. It’s important to do one’s homework so that the history and culture of the organisation are clearly understood, as well as the job description at hand. Such insights will give an added edge over less-proactive competitors. Proper research can also help the candidate shape answers in a favourable light.
3. Dressing Inappropriately
With so many new companies on the market, “inappropriate” means different things to each potential employer. For instance, an interview at a law firm would call for a suit, whilst a computer software startup may be looking for younger and more individualistic employees. Study each company’s culture before selecting an outfit; tailor the choice, accordingly.
4. Failing to Listen Carefully
Interviews are nerve-wracking experiences. Yet the ability to keep a cool head under pressure makes for a more desirable new employee. One common symptom of nerves is the failure to properly listen to each question with the utmost attention. Be as succinct as possible with answers but don’t be afraid to add any extra pertinent information, if beneficial.
5. Keeping the Mobile On
It happens. However, the inability to silence one’s phone during an interview can be the kiss of death for hopeful candidates. In addition to showing poor forethought, it can also give an employer the sense that their time is not truly valued. Plus it’s just rude and distracting and will throw you off your game. Before your interview, check that all alarms are disarmed and silence all programmes. Better yet, shut the phone down entirely.
6. Asking About Benefits
The interview’s going well and then comes the time when an employer asks if you have any questions. Do not, under any circumstances, ask about employee benefits. If you ace the interview the company will make an offer and bring all that pertinent information to the table, which you can then accept or decline. To broach the subject of benefits before such an offer makes an applicant look crass and needy. The employer’s decision to let a candidate ask questions should be taken as a chance to provide insightful queries that better position a person for getting that dream job.
7. Being Too Funny
This one’s tricky because if interviewing in a group setting it can be very easy to fall into a bit of a comedy routine. Don’t let nerves turn an important interview into a series of one-liners unless you’re hoping to be hired by a comedy troupe. Showing personality is never a bad thing because you want to fit in at your new workplace, but don’t let humour override confidence and competence.
8. Complaining of Past Jobs and Employers
For those who have left a particularly unrewarding job this one could be tempted to do. Some interviewers may even set candidates up to see how diplomatic they are about past jobs. No matter how frustrating or miserable the job, do not make the mistake of making disparaging remarks about past employers and jobs.
9. Ignoring the Value of Thank You Letters
It is astonishing how few still write thank you notes after getting to interview with a company. This basic offer of courtesy could be the one thing to set you apart from other equally-qualified candidates. Not only does a follow-up letter show the prospective employer’s time was appreciated, it also provides an additional chance to show your business demeanor.
10. Underestimating the Competition
So you’ve got all the right credentials and even some valuable work experience under your belt—that doesn’t mean there aren’t more than a few others who have the same qualifications applying for the job. If it’s a job you really want then approach the interview armed to the teeth to show the employer exactly why you’re a perfect fit.
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.
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