There’s nothing like a job interview to make your palms sweaty. You want—no, need that job so badly that you become nearly paralyzed with fear that you’ve got kale stuck in your teeth. But that's hardly the worst job interview gaffe. So brush your teeth, check your outfit, and prepare to prevent these job interview mistakes.
5 Interview Mistakes to Avoid
- Focusing too much on you.
Career experts agree that interviewees who focus too much on self-promotion and not enough on what the company is looking for can leave an interviewer feeling flat. A Market Watch interview with career consultant Alexandra Levit stressed the absolute necessity of closely examining the job description and then present your experience with the specific terms and skills they want during the interview. Focus your answers on how you can help the company fulfill its objectives and solve its problems because it's about them, not you.
- Bad-mouthing former employers.
Do this and your interviewer will immediately assume you’ve got a bad attitude. And yet, you may really have had a negative experience with a former employer—so how do you handle that? If you have to talk about a bad situation during your interview, The Houston Chronicle’s Rose Johnson says be prepared to put a positive spin on how you overcame difficulties, accomplished objectives in spite of hardship, and how your skills improved and what you learned from the experience.
- Not doing your homework on the company
Every career adviser and HR person agrees that one of the most annoying things is interviewees who come in without having done any research into their company. CareerCast.com urges you to find out as much as you can about the company, its history, major products and services, and their particular market objectives and challenges well ahead of the interview so you can be prepared to answer questions about how you can specifically benefit their organization.
- Unrealistic Salary Expectations
This is a sticky one, but there are good ways to prepare for it so you don’t put off the interviewer with a wildly-extravagant salary demand. Market Watch suggests using websites like Glassdoor.com, Salary.com or Payscale.com to determine what the going rate is for that position in your geographical area.
- Not asking questions
Ever drawn a blank when the interviewer asks what questions you have? That’s a blooper you can avoid by preparing a cache of questions in advance, advises Aaron Guerrero of U.S. News & World Report. Try asking how the position you’re interviewing for has evolved, or what the interviewer enjoys most about working there. Another great angle is asking what the top priorities will be for that position, or what some of the biggest challenges might be.
Did you notice the major common thread through all of these bloopers (and their antidotes)? It's preparation! Being well prepared for your job interview can settle your jittery nerves and boost your chances of success! Need to practice? Contact us today and we'll be glad to help. Ready to set up your next interview? Check out our available jobs and submit your resume.