You just got the call you’ve been waiting for and managed to score an interview for the job you’ve been dreaming about. As you run to the closet to pick out your best outfit, you play an interview scenario in your head coming up with possible questions and answers that you think the employer might ask.
You’ve got a 60-second speech prepared for the hiring manager if they ask you “Tell me about yourself?” and have a short-list of weaknesses that are relevant to the job.
You’re calm, confident, and ready to nail this job interview in hopes of getting a job offer the very next day. Easy peasy, right?
Not so fast.
Even if your resume is attention-grabbing and has everything the employer’s asking for, there’s still a chance you can blow the interview just by saying the wrong thing, despite looking the part and playing out scenarios in your head.
The most skilled job seekers can sometimes make interview mistakes that can cost them the job offer.
Knowing what these interview mistakes are ahead of time – and coming up with ways to avoid them – can keep you on the employer’s list of potential candidates.
So be sure to keep these tips in mind when going into an interview. That way, you can avoid kicking yourself later on, wondering “Why did I give that answer?” when heading out the building.
1. Being Rude to the Support Staff
When you go in for a job interview, make sure you’re nice to everyone and respectfully present yourself. Although you might think the person interviewing you determines whether or not you get the job, the truth is, you never know who makes that decision.
According to Jobvite, perhaps the worst thing an interviewee can do is be rude to the person working at the front desk. 86 percent of hiring managers agreed that being rude to the receptionist and other supporting staff members is a deal-breaker.
If being rude is the best attitude you have to offer to the receptionist, then the company can be in some serious trouble if they decide to hire you and put you under stress with work demands.
Remember, when you’re searching for a job, all of your interactions are subject to evaluation, from the time you applied for the job to when you walk in the door for an interview. In the end, it’s just not worth the hassle.
2. Complaining & Making Demands
A job interview isn’t a place to vent and go on a rant about your previous employer and co-workers.
If you left a job because you were fired or disagreed with a company’s policy, for example, there are logical ways to explain your departure without sabotaging the interview and trash-talking the employer.
On the other hand, if you walk into an interview just to simply make a laundry list of unnecessary demands, expect to get the same results.
A hiring manager’s job isn’t just filling a position, it’s to see if the applicant will match the company’s requirements for a particular position. So making demands before even being offered the opening position will only raise red flags for what’s to come later on if they hire you.
The best thing to do in this case is to just let your employer know about any other outside obligations that might conflict with your schedule – whether it’s the kids, the commute to work, or school.
That way, if they hire you, they’ll know ahead of time that your time is split between work and other commitments. Whatever you do, don’t make your demands the focal point of the discussion.
3. Interrupting the Interviewer
This is a major interview mistake. Interrupting someone in the middle of a sentence is rude, to begin with, but doing it during an interview could cost you the job. Although this might seem like a minor offense, the employer might find it distracting.
That’s because normally when people consistently cut others off during a conversation it’s a sign that they’re not a good listener and that they value their opinion over others. Some of your potential co-workers might find it difficult to work with you on specific tasks or projects and you don’t want that.
Communication and patience are the secret ingredients here.
4. Unable to Recall Lessons from Past Projects
Believe it or not, depending on the job position, potential employers want to know about the times you accomplishments and failures. In most cases, they want you to tell them how you failed, why you failed, and what was done differently moving forward. Don’t worry, this isn’t the employer’s way of being noisy.
Instead, it’s a tactic managers use to help them determine whether or not you’re fit for their company’s cultural values. It also helps them determine your mindset: are you someone who gives up easily and blames everyone else for your mistakes, or someone who buckles down and takes on the challenge?
What type of job wants to know these things?
One job, in particular, that relies on this method a lot is coaching jobs. If you’ve ever been interviewed for a coaching position – or interviewed someone else – for instance, then you’d know that the number one thing employers focus on is the candidate’s conflict and resolution abilities.
Again, they want to hear about those challenging moments you’ve had to overcome with a player and the steps you took towards defusing the situation. This is how employers decide if you’re an ideal candidate for a coaching position in the world of sports.
Job interviews are without a doubt stressful, but they’re a necessary part of life. So be sure to keep these points in mind to avoid interview mistakes, and do your best to make a good impression. Then you can tell your future co-workers about some of the interesting jobs you’ve worked in the past.
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything super important? What are some other things candidates should avoid during an interview when trying to land their dream job?
Feel free to leave a comment.