If you have landed an interview then the company you applied to obviously thinks you might have what it takes to join them. However, you can quickly dissuade them of that opinion if you blunder during the meeting.
Liz Ryan of Kiplinger discusses some of the most common interview stumbles, and simple ways to avoid having them happen to you.
Know the Company
You probably wouldn’t feel flattered if the interviewer knew nothing about you despite inviting you to meet after you sent them your resume. The message it would give off is that they aren’t picky and will just consider anyone who was interested. And if they didn’t care about your specific skills, that would likely mean this wasn’t a very skilled job.
The reverse is also true of you the candidate.
Not knowing the company makes you look like you just want any job and this company wasn’t anything special to you. Do basic research into the company’s history, what their values are, and projects they have done that are similar to your experience. Just because you are getting to know each other doesn’t mean you arrive as a blank slate.
Not Knowing When to Stop Talking
Maybe you do this because you are nervous, but it can be as damaging to say too much as too little. You should be capable of answering simple questions without turning your response into a five-minute monologue.
If you struggle with being succinct under pressure, rehearse describing your background, achievements, and other common talking points. Learn to distill your career into easily digestible stories.
Being Too Casual
This attitude creates several bad habits you could display. Is your schedule so casual that you thought it would be no big deal to arrive late? That is not respecting the employer who likely put other responsibilities on hold to speak with you.
Did you assume you didn’t need to dress your best? That’s a gamble that will quickly work against you if the environment is more formal. Overdressing can’t hurt your chances but underdressing certainly can.
And while it is nice to find areas of common interest with your interviewer, don’t let that overshadow the professional tone of the meeting. Realizing you both enjoy the same show is a good personal connection, but it’s not a cue to start sharing your fan theories, so don’t fall into that section of interview stumbles.
Nobody intends to make these mistakes, but lack of preparation can make you stumble into them. That is why you need to practice and do your research every time.
For more mistakes that you need to watch out for, especially these interview stumbles, be sure to take a look at Kiplinger’s article by clicking here.
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