Preparation is a key part of job interview success — even for experienced candidates. No matter how many interviews you’ve been on, no one is immune to mistakes.
If you’re searching for a new job, you have to take the interview process seriously. Knowing you blundered an interview doesn’t feel good whether you’re entry level or have decades of experience, so spare yourself the embarrassment and lay the groundwork for success.
These interview blunders are common among candidates at all levels. Put them on your radar now, so you don’t inadvertently commit them.
Waiting Until the Last Minute to Choose Your Attire
You have a suit hanging in the back of your closet you’re planning to pull out on interview day. However, waiting until the big day to inspect your attire and try it on is a major don’t. The suit might not fit anymore, your dress shirt could be wrinkled or you might remember you didn’t dry clean it after your last wear.
Failing to Conduct Background Research
It’s important to go into a job interview with as much knowledge as possible about the company and the interviewer. You will be asked how much you know about the organization and if you can’t even spout off basic stats — products and services, markets served, brief history — it will appear you’re not really interested.
Using LinkedIn and other social media sites to learn about the hiring manager can help you forge a bond. For example, if you find out you have the same hometown, find a way to stealthily work this into conversation.
Preparing Responses to Basic Interview Questions Only
Every candidate knows it’s important to formulate responses to standard questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “What is your greatest weakness?” but great interviewers go deeper. Prepare to answer situational questions that help the interviewer determine your fit for the job. Some of these include “Describe a time when your workload was especially heavy and explain how you managed it” or “How have you handled a previous clash with a colleague?”
Neglecting to Ask Questions
Many candidates don’t realize that a job interview is a two-way street. Although the hiring manager is interviewing you, you should also have questions prepared for them. Not only does this help you determine if the position is the right fit for you, it also shows interest in the job. Interviewers expect you to ask questions, and if you don’t, they’ll assume you’re not that excited about it.
Exhibiting Poor Body Language
Body language speaks volumes, so pay close attention to the vibes you’re sending. Appear confident, open and engaged in the conversation by sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact and avoiding crossing your arms. You can have the best responses of any candidate, but if you send mixed nonverbal cues, you probably won’t get the job.
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