Big interview mistakes are obvious—being late, dressing inappropriately, bad language, and so on. There are plenty of more subtle mistakes that can also keep you from getting the offer. Make sure you aren’t making any of these:
Mistake #1 – Failing To Research The Company
Researching the company goes beyond a quick Google search to find out what they do. Dig in a little deeper to find information that will help you better answer interview questions and come up with better questions to ask. Never ask something you could have easily found online.
Mistake #2 – Failing To Practice Your Interview Answers
An interview is a business meeting. Just like with any meeting, they will expect you to be prepared. There’s no excuse for stumbling over common interview questions—so practice your answers. The bonus is that a smooth delivery of great interview answers makes you seem more confident and competent.
Mistake #3 – Skipping A 30-60-90-Day Plan
Prepare a 30-60-90-Day Plan for the job before your first interview. Not only will you be the best-prepared you’ve ever been for an interview, you will have a tool that allows you to communicate who you are and what you can do better than anything you’ve ever experienced. See How to Create and Use a 30-60-90-Day Plan in Your Interview.
Mistake #4 – Weak Language
One of your main goals in a job interview is to inspire confidence that they can trust you to do the job. So it’s not just the answers you give and the stories you tell—it’s the WAY you speak. Weak language, such as “Hopefully,” “Maybe,” “If it works out,” and so on, undermines their confidence in you. Try to use positive language: “I can,” “I will,” “I have,” and so on.
Mistake #5 – Asking About Salary
I once coached a woman who was extremely talented, but even though she got interviews, she could not get offers. What was the problem? She asked about salary in every interview. This is a big turnoff for employers. Keep your focus on making them want to hire you. THEN you can talk salary. If there’s no job offer, there’s nothing to discuss.
Mistake #6 – Failing To Close
As a career coach, I speak to job seekers often who are great at interviewing—but they’re still not getting offers for the jobs they want, and they don’t know why. It’s almost always because they fail to close for the job, or ask for the job. Toward the end of the interview, ask, “Based on what we’ve talked about today, can you see me being successful in this role?” A ‘yes’ answer commits them to you and boosts your shot at the job. A ‘no’ uncovers the doubts they have about you and gives you the opportunity to change their mind before you leave—and the chance is lost.
Mistake #7 – Failing To Follow Up
Leaving the interview and doing nothing but waiting to hear their decision is hard—but worse, it sends the message that you don’t care that much about getting this job. Before you leave the interview, ask about their timeline for a decision. Then send a thank you note and call, if necessary, to keep tabs on what’s happening. Professional persistence can get you the offer.
About the author
Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock