Having a great resume is key, but showing up to an interview with a positive attitude ready to sell yourself as a great fit for the position and company is even more important. When looking for the perfect candidate, every employer is different but there are certain expectations when going in to any interview. Check out these 10 Interview Mistakes to Avoid.
Employers are taking time out of their day to show an interest in you and to learn more about you and how you fit into their culture and organization – don’t waste their time by arriving late! Not only is it rude, but it could also give employers the impression that you are not serious or reliable.
Dressing inappropriately is one of those interview mistakes that can go both ways. Dressing too casual for an interview can be awkward and uncomfortable. Align your interview outfit with the industry and company style. Wearing a suit and tie is always recommended and professional, but some companies may give you a tour of a facility or visiting a work site during the interview. As always, make sure that whatever you choose to wear is appropriate, clean, and neat. If you aren’t sure, research the company or ask if there will be a tour or field visit during the interview to plan your outfit accordingly. If nothing else, err on the side of formal dress.
Honesty is the best policy and obviously it’s imperative in a job interview. However, as in your personal life, there can be a risk of “interview oversharing.” This concept can also be expressed in the notorious acronym, “TMI” – too much information.
The rise of reality TV and social networks has encouraged us to update everyone on our status, even if it’s just a photo of what’s for dinner. For example, it’s the person you just met that shares their entire life story, including much more personal information than necessary. This type of oversharing is especially imperative to consider in an interview when you’re asked that common question, “Tell me a little about yourself.” The keyword here is LITTLE!
Generally, respond to interview questions with relative, succinct answers that do not ramble on and on. As a guide, here are ten things you shouldn’t share during an interview:
Interviewing for a job and networking scenarios can test even the most polished professional. Such situations can stir up nervousness and anxiety that can be difficult to ward off, sometimes sending the wrong sign. It’s important to note that communications experts agree that the vast majority of face-to-face communication is presented by our tone of voice and body language, with only 7% being attributed to the spoken word. While the person you are speaking to pays close attention to your verbal answers, is the delivery of your message lacking due to non-verbal cues you are sending? Being aware of the messages you are conveying through unspoken communication can be critical to your career success!
Here are 6 common body language mistakes to avoid:
1. Eye Contact – Looking someone directly in the eye conveys confidence and trustworthiness. But too much eye contact can be unpleasant to the other party. Strike a good balance in making a personal connection by looking the other person in the eye when they are speaking to you and when you are responding. Avoid staring at them by taking slight breaks to look away.
Chances are if you’re in the market for a new job, you’re looking to bring home a decent paycheck, with a few extra perks, right? While compensation isn’t the only reason folks job hunt, it certainly plays a part in the position someone might accept. Most folks don’t work just to kill time, and no one ever said, you guys are paying me too much. With that in mind, it is important to know the etiquette and the ever-increasing legal landscape of talking dollars during the process.
Before going into any interview situation, you should know your worth and have an idea of what the market will pay for the position you’re applying for. Also, have a few reasons in mind of why you are worth the number you’re requesting. If you don’t start out with a solid reasonings of what you’re worth and why, you may accept any number offered to you, leaving you dissatisfied in the end. In recent years, several states have made it illegal for employers to ask about an applicant’s salary history. If an applicant has experienced pay discrimination in the past, or was simply underpaid, they don’t want their previous salary to undercut a current job offer. Knowing the laws in your state may help you navigate this dilemma.
Interviewing is one of the most stressful parts of the job search process. A candidate is put under scrutiny to answer questions about their past job experiences and performance in addition to questions about their skills and abilities. There can be a lot riding on this one conversation and so how to calm the nerves and come across as the confident, capable candidate that you are? Music can motivate and inspire during the job search process, so here are some classic rock suggestions for some pre-interview listening and zeroing in on rocking your interview!
“I won’t back down, hey baby there ain’t no easy way out, I won’t back down” (Tom Petty, “I Won’t Back Down”). The job search process is not easy and takes a lot of work. This is a reminder that persistence is key to success.
Sometimes the simplest of gestures can have huge impact. That certainly can be said for a thank you and follow-up after an interview. While most would think saying thank you is standard, in today’s world it often gets overlooked. However, employers are watching and in a tight candidate search, the time writing a quick interview thank you can put you above the competition.
Obviously, start with a nice thank you. You can thank them for their time, their insight about the opportunity, and for considering you for the role. Be genuine and sincere in whatever you choose to thank them for.
If you’re already in a job interview situation, chances are you aren’t crazy about your current job. You’re anxiously waiting for the interviewer to ask you that inevitable question, “Why do you want to leave your current position?”
How can you eloquently discuss your current job, boss, and why you are leaving?
You know the saying “Keep your mouth shut if you don’t have anything good to say!” While it’s true, silence is not an option in a job interview. There are a few very basic reasons that can be simply explained, such as an employer going out of business, a long commute or relocating with a family member. Beyond that, it’s important to stay clear of negativity regarding your current job. If you spew hatred for your current supervisor or employer, it only makes the interviewer think you will do the same with their organization someday.
By Danielle Tucker, 2017 AgCareers.com Marketing Intern
Informational interviews are meetings that job seekers can utilize with employers to find out more information, ask advice, and seek answers. They also allow employers to get to know a potential candidate for a position in the company. Although, it is important to know that this is not a job interview and your goal is to gather information and network rather than finding job openings.
As a job seeker, it can be difficult to get an interview if the employers have several resumes to sort through. Utilizing informational interviews can work to your advantage, however, they can also help a company eliminate you from their pile of papers. To decide whether or not you should pursue an informational interview, examine the pros, cons, and guidelines.
We’re all familiar with IQ, or Intelligence Quotient. For years people assumed that IQ was the source of a person’s success. However, studies indicated that people with the highest IQs outperform those with average IQs just 20% of the time, while people with average IQs outperform those with high IQs 70% of the time. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves provides an in-depth look at this topic. They explain that the physical source of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is communication between your rational and emotional areas of the brain.
EQ is a person’s ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. EQ allows you to handle yourself and relationships in challenging circumstances at work and home. It generally includes:
I’ve always thought that one of the hardest (but also one of the most common) interview questions to answer is, “What are you most proud of?” Not everyone thinks of their accomplishments as anything major, but it’s important to share them with your interviewer for them to understand what you are capable of and what fulfills your pride (as they certainly want you to be proud of your work if you end up as their employee). Your interviewer will also be looking for an answer detailing the process of how you accomplished whatever it is that you are most proud of.
First of all, here’s how to NOT answer the question (as I did for my first real job interview): don’t give a short answer. There should be a story involved here with a beginning and an ending. You should lead the interview from how this accomplishment materialized through the end result and then why you are proud of it.