Your résumé has done its job, someone thinks you’re qualified for the job, now they want to bring you in and see if you are what you say you are. And if you will fit into the group; are you someone they want to be around for 40 hours a week.
Doing the following things at your interview could end your candidacy for the position. I have provided you with ways to fix flaws to keep you in the running.
If you are:
1. Overconfident— come across as a know it all, seen it all, and done it all with no need for improvement indicates that you will be arrogant and won’t fully cooperate with the rest of the team. You will be self-serving.
How to Fix: Show you are open to learning new things from anyone.
2. Unprepared—if you don’t know about the organization, or what they do can either displays a lack of interest or that you do things off the cuff without much thought. You’re not a conscientious worker.
How to Fix: Read every page on the company website and anything you can find about the company.
3. Avoiding answering the questions directly —don’t answer the question directly or ramble on with an ambiguous message indicates that you don’t know what you say you know or haven’t prepared. You aren’t ready to do the job.
How to Fix: Know your résumé, the company, and the role. Answer the question fully but stop when you feel you are going off topic. Practice interview questions that could probably be asked.
4. Nice to only the people you think influence the hiring decision—you are treating the others rudely or in a condescending manner. The hiring manager will be concerned how you will treat co-workers and customers.
How to Fix: Treat everyone as they are the hiring manager. Be kind and respectful to everyone you meet at the company.
5. Too interested in salary, benefits, and perks—reveals that you aren’t in it for the company but only for yourself. You are likely to jump ship when a better offer comes along.
How to Fix: Avoid bringing up anything about compensation during the first interview. If the interviewer brings it up, tell them you are interested in the position, and the money can be discussed later.
6. Desperate—you want to be remembered for what you can do for the company and how you can do it better than anyone else. The I’ll take anything attitude highlights your needs, not the needs of the company.
How to Fix: Be enthusiastic and energetic in the position and the company without being over eager. Show them how you have done this before with stellar results.
7. Not asking questions—they think you don’t care, don’t want the job or aren’t prepared. It will be viewed as only going through the motions of the interview and probably won’t accept the job.
How to Fix: Assemble a list of questions about topics you want to know more about.
8. Late for the interview—indicates either lack of planning or are always late. You have time management issues. Your work won’t be turned in on time.
How to Fix: A few days before the interview, take a dry run to the interview site during the same time of day to see how long it takes. Leave your home a little earlier than the estimated time.
9. Bad mouthing your previous employer—you don’t practice discretion. You could become the office gossip or will do the same when you leave this job.
How to Fix: Refrain from saying anything negative about anyone. Only talk about the positives and/or what lessons you learned from working with them.
10. Dressed inappropriately—shows lack of respect for the position and the interviewer. You are at your best dressed self at the interview. You show your personality through your wardrobe.
How to Fix: Know your industry and the company. If you aren’t sure what’s appropriate, ask the person who set up the interview or someone at the company.
Competition is tough in today’s job market. Many people have the right credentials to do the job. You have the skills and experience now you have to show them your soft skills. You will be spending a significant part of your week with these people and they want it to be a pleasant experience. Show them that you are the perfect fit.