Congratulations! After sending our multiple job applications, you’ve finally been offered an interview with a company you’re interested in working for. As you start to prepare to go in for the interview, you should consider the things you should avoid doing in order to make a strong first impression. While there are the obvious mistakes like not coming with questions of your own or bashing a former employer, there are other subtle mistakes you could be making without realizing it. Here are four ways you could be hurting your chances of landing the job without knowing it:
When it comes to interview prep, many people can successfully cross these simple steps off their list: company research, reading the interview instructions, picking out the right outfit, etc. Full of confidence, few go into the interview with a deeper level of preparation. However, winging it is not an effective interview strategy.
Taking the time to practice and prepare your answers to common (and difficult) questions can help lay the foundation for making a strong impression. If you are participating in a video interview, the proper prep is even more important! Wing it, and you risk technical glitches and distracting background noises.
Negative body language is one of the most subtle job interview mistakes you could be making. Silent signals such as a lack of eye contact, fidgeting, and slumping can inadvertently make you come across as nervous or disengaged. On the other hand, furrowed brows, too firm of a handshake, and crossing your arms might imply you are overly confident or unapproachable.
If you are itching to make a change or hustling to find a job, it’s easy to forget about what specific roles and companies you applied to. When an interview comes as a surprise, it’s important to re-familiarize yourself with these details to ensure you understand how you are qualified for the role and why you were interested in the first place. Without this insight, the interview may not end well for you. Avoid making major job interview mistakes like this by staying organized throughout the application process.
All too often, exceptional candidates risk missing out on opportunities because they don’t use their interview time wisely. Instead of leaving a lasting impression by clearly articulating what about their background specifically makes them the best candidate, they rehash the skills and experience already listed on their resume. Painting a picture with a story can help you avoid this job interview mistake in a number of ways: it gives the interviewer insight into your career and work ethic; provides you an opportunity to show confidence, communication skills, and creativity; and demonstrates your ability to prioritize and get to the point.
Larry Dolinko is the CEO of The Execu|Search Group, a leading recruitment, contract staffing, and workforce solutions firm. Larry leverages his experience in client management, relationship building, negotiation, and sales to oversee strategic growth for the firm, including business development and employee engagement.
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