Everyone makes mistakes, but on an interview that could cost you the job. So here are some of the most common interview mistakes. Avoid these are slip-ups, you may not even realize you’ve been making them.
1. They forget that this is a selling situation… and don’t ask for the job. A candidate’s objective in an initial interview is to sell what he or she can do for the prospective employer. He or she is so unique and so valuable over and above every other candidate, he or she need to be hired.
2. They think that interviewing is a “two-way street.” An initial interview is a “one-way street.” A candidate has to prove him- or herself superior to all of the other candidates before getting to an “equal” exchange with a potential employer.
3. They focus on what they want in a job. If candidates give the hiring authority good enough reasons why they ought to be hired, a hiring authority can give them plenty of reasons why they ought to go work there.
4. They don’t know what they’re really selling to an employer. Many candidates forget to sell specific features, advantages, and benefits that they can provide the employer.
5. They cannot articulate or “bridge” their specific abilities for the employer. Most candidates “know” they’re good, but they don’t know how to articulate their advantages. This takes practice and doesn’t come naturally.
6. They have poor communication skills. Candidates must practice looking people in the eye and communicating clearly and concisely what they can do for a company that nobody else can.
7. Improper or poor dress and/or body language is unprofessional in the interview. Candidates should dress professionally and be relaxed, yet serious in their body language.
8. They don’t research the company or the position they are interviewing for. The people who are getting the jobs usually know more about the company and the people they are interviewing with.
9. They are unable to articulate what they would like in a new job or company. Candidates must be able to articulate their professional goals, what they are striving for personally and professionally.
10. They badmouth their present employer. Most candidates don’t recognize that employers identify with employers. Your past and present employers have to appear positive.
Tony Beshara is author of Acing the Interview and The Job Search Solution. He has been in the placement and recruitment profession since 1973 and is the owner of Babich and Associates, the oldest placement and recruitment firm in the Southwest. He is recognized as the #1 recruiter in America according to the Fordyce Letter, a recruitment industry journal. He has appeared numerous times on the nationally syndicated Dr. Phil Show.