Seventeen, huh? Well, I wanted to cover how you can screw up a job interview relating to four of the five senses of sound, sight, touch, smell, excluding taste. I tossed in the pre-interview and post-interview errors. I also have a self-imposed under-one-thousand-word limit. (I crushed it in a mere 705 words and even counted these thirteen.) Voilà, now you have your seventeen biggest job interview mistakes.
On we go…
Yes, you can lose the game before it starts…
Not researching the company and job interviewers. This is a big no-no especially because it’s too easy to find information in cyberspace. I’ll excuse the lack of research regarding the job interviewers, but only if you don’t know their names.
Not researching yourself. You need to know what you want and what makes you happy. How will you otherwise ask appropriate questions to determine whether the company can satisfy your lengthy list of needs? Not sure how to do this? Check out Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired. No need to reach for your credit card. I give it away for free.
Not being prepared with an abundance of questions. Do you care? Then make a list. There are thirty-nine good ones in Interview Intervention. Flip to Chapter Seven if you’re short on time.
Not deodorizing your social media platform. More than 80% of employers will check your LinkedIn profile, Facebook Page, and Twitter handle. Do the math.
Being late. You know the time. You can’t make it on time?
Do you want to kick or receive?
Not shaking hands and looking the interviewer in the eye and maintaining that eye contact throughout the job interview. She’s not going to bite you even though she looks like she might.
How many ways can you fumble your answer to the question? Uh, five, I think.
Not directly answering the question. This is the first way you can drop the ball. Answer the question she asked.
Not providing enough color. Number two. Make sure to provide enough information. One-word answers generally don’t fly. If you’re not sure whether you’ve provided enough information, there is a really slick technique that many people don’t use enough. It’s called asking.
Not providing the information the interviewer actually needed to know. This one is for the graduate course. Job interviewers are usually untrained and ineffective likely because it’s not technically in their job descriptions. They ask questions that yield poor answers filled with information that isn’t helpful for them to determine whether you’ll be a good employee. Keep this in mind and check out the Storytelling chapter of Interview Intervention, which I’ve already referenced.
Providing too much information. If you see an eye roll, yawn, or watch-glance, you can bet you need to stop talking. If you see all three, just pack up.
Criticizing. This is an all-encompassing remark. This means no bad mouthing a previous employer, team, coworker, friend, spouse, whoever, or whatever.
Am I keeping you from something?
Answering any type of distraction. Looking counts. Hearing an email or chat beep counts even if it’s in your brief bag. Please turn off your computer, iPad, and phone. Thank you. Enjoy the show.
Falling flat at the end and not proactively expressing interest. Make sure you indicate you are interested in the job. Don’t forget to add “why” you’re interested so the interviewer knows it’s not a hollow remark.
Dressing like a slob. Watch your ironing, tailoring, skirt length, and so forth.
Is that your hand on my…
Don’t touch. You think I’m kidding? Watch the hugs or pats or anything that isn’t a firm handshake.
Did the janitors work last night?
Don’t smell. I don’t care if you just bought the new Polo fragrance. Watch the number of pumps you hit your body with because anything that makes the interviewer sneeze is generally a bad idea.
Why did I tie this string on my finger?
Forgetting to gather her contact information so you can provide a thank-you email and/or card. You guessed it. Page 83 of Interview Intervention has a sample. Have a nice day.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Give me your job interview mistake doozies!
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