Top Interview Mistakes

Lack of Professionalism

Too often job candidates fail to realize the interview starts the minute they walk into the building. Impolite behavior toward the security guard or receptionist can ensure this will be your last visit. Make eye contact smile Offer a firm handshake when appropriate. During the interview convey a sense of confidence by speaking clearly and sticking to the point. A professional appearance is a must, so don’t forget to dress the part.

Failure to Prepare

Nothing can kill an interview faster than a blatant lack of knowledge about the company and the position you’re interviewing for. Research the company beforehand, as well as its economic climate and the position you’re being considered for. Be ready to demonstrate the value you would add to the firm.

Buy First, Sell Later

Interviewees play two roles: that of a “buyer” looking to determine whether the company is a good fit, and that of a “seller” who must convince the prospective employer to buy them. One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is to go in with the buyer mentality and neglect their sales role. You must first convince the company to make an offer first and then focus on the buyer questions. You should note that you may not get to the “buyer” questions in the first interview.

Money Matters Most

Don’t ask too soon about benefits and financial information. Doing so can be off-putting to hiring managers who are still trying to learn about your background and determine whether you might be a good fit. Sell yourself first then worry about compensation. Remember, compensation is a moot point if they are not interested. You shouldn’t assume that because you were able to secure an interview that this guarantees you a position.

Negative Exposure

Those who air a former employer’s dirty laundry or otherwise make disparaging comments raise a red flag for hiring managers. Employers may wonder how you would represent their company, and whether your negativity would extend to your new role.

No Sparks

When the interview feels flat, it’s likely you’ve failed to create chemistry with the hiring manager. Remember that people want to do business with people they like. It’s important to develop a rapport with the interviewer from the start. That said you should know that not every job or company culture is suited for everyone. Most importantly, be yourself.

Overall, interviewing is not a difficult skill to master. The key to avoiding missteps, making a strong impression and increasing your chances of landing the position lies in the old Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.”

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