Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Are You Making These 8 Job Interview Mistakes?

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Are You Making These 8 Job Interview Mistakes? [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Avoid eight common job interview mistakes.
Have you ever thought a job interview went well but then didn’t hear back from the employer or get hired? Perhaps another candidate was a better fit for the job. Or perhaps you made avoidable interview mistakes that caused the employer to keep looking.

Here are eight preventable job interview errors that can hurt or kill your chances of getting the job:
  1. Being late to the interview. Timeliness is important to employers. If you are late for the job interview, you are signaling that you may be late for work. Allow yourself enough time to get to a job interview about 10 minutes early. Add extra time for bad weather, commuting problems, parking, and building security. Be sure to know exactly where you need to go, so you don’t lose time trying to find a certain building or office. 
  2. Not being prepared for the interview. Being prepared for an interview shows employers you are an organized, considerate person who thinks ahead. Bring extra copies of your resume, your list of references, your portfolio if appropriate, and a list of questions you want to ask. Research the organization and the job as much as you can ahead of time so you don’t ask inane questions like “What do you do here?”
  3. Sounding desperate. Avoid sounding desperate for a job, even if you are. It's a turnoff for employers to hear, “I really need this job. I’ll do anything.” Employers want workers who understand what's unique or special about their organizations. 
  4. Dressing inappropriately. Most employers are conservative, so dress conservatively and neatly for job interviews. If in doubt about certain clothing, wear something else. Also pay attention to your grooming, shoes, and accessories.
  5. Badmouthing a current or former employer. If you badmouth your current or past employer, the interviewer may label you as a complainer and believe you will also complain about his or her organization if you are hired. It’s best to avoid criticisms about past jobs and say something more neutral like “I needed more challenge in my work” or “I am ready for a change” if asked why you left or are leaving.
  6. Acting disinterested. Interviewers want employees who are interested in their jobs and in coming to work every day. If you seem disinterested or bored at a job interview, you will probably be disinterested in the work if hired. So shut off your phone, make eye contact, nod your head, uncross your arms, be enthusiastic, smile, and ask questions. 
  7. Giving weak answers. Employers want to make sure you are a good fit for the position. So answer all questions succinctly but fully. Avoid “yes” or “no” answers but don’t ramble. Highlight your skills, training, and experience that suit the job. It may be helpful to rehearse answers to common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work here?” and “Why should I hire you?” 
  8. Not closing the interview well. Always be sure to tell the interviewer you want the job (if you do). Thank him or her and ask what’s next in the hiring process. Send a thank-you email or note within 24 hours. Then make a follow-up call or send a follow-up email in a week reiterating your interest in the job.
Fortunately, many job interview mistakes are avoidable with awareness, preparation, and follow up. If you pay attention to the eight points above, you may be well on your way to a job offer.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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