Learning from each job interview is key to improving your interviewing skills. What went well? What not so well? What was missed? What went well but didn’t matter?
Here is a summary of 10 fairly common mistakes.
1.) Complaining about your Employer, Boss or Coworkers. It is a huge red flag when someone talks negatively about their past employment. You are interviewing not only for a job position, but also for working well with your co-workers. Take the opportunity to turn the question into a way to talk about the company you are interviewing with.
2.) Not knowing much about the company. “Why do you want to work for this company?” They are not looking for a generic answer. They are looking for your unique response. You want to know their company mission statement and vision statement & be ready to say why you would be committed to working there.
3.) Using too many filler words. Ummm, you know, to be honest, like, you know what I mean, so…. Shows a lack of communication skills and confidence. Get in front of a mirror and practice!
4.) Keeping your phone out. It should not be seen or heard during an interview. This is unprofessional and indicative of being distracted by personal issues while on the job.
5.) Not dressed professionally / used unprofessional language. First impressions are incredibly important. Dress according to their dress code. Choose outfits that err on the side of standard, conservative appearance. Speak as a professional.
6.) Asking about the salary package too quickly. This is the time to show that you are a worthwhile investment; that you are more interested in performing well than in the company perks.
7.) Unprepared. Have copies of your resume in a professional binder. For some jobs, bring a brochure of work you have created. Tips: Create simple business cards; follow them on LinkedIn.
8.) Arriving late. The implications are that this meeting is not a priority / timeliness and planning is not your forte. If possible, drive by the company location before the interview date and check out the correct location, parking situation, and surrounding traffic patterns. At a minimum, arrive 15 minutes early.
9.) No questions to ask at the end. This gives the impression of being unprepared and uninterested in the company and its culture. Have a couple of questions ready related to the job priorities: What are some of the more difficult problems facing someone in this position? What would you like to have accomplished within the next two or three months? What are the most critical factors for success in your business?
It is recommended that you ask “What are the next steps in the hiring process?” Then, you will not sit at home wondering if you will ever receive a call. If possible, try to get the interviewer’s contact information. This will ensure that you have a point of contact, and can write them a nice thank-you note after the interview and follow up if you do not hear back about a hiring decision.
10.) Simply not qualified. It is sometimes hard to admit when you are not qualified for a job. But, sometimes, you simply aren’t! If you really want the job, build your skill set to meet the qualifications. Continual learning is an investment and a must today. It shows that you are a goal-driven individual with superior work ethic.