Interviews are stressful. Every candidate goes into each interview with the plan to make the best impression of themselves to the employer. Unfortunately, sometimes thinking too hard and too quickly can lead to simple mistakes that will greatly influence the hiring managers opinion of you.
Here are a few common interview mistakes that candidates often make:
- Not understanding what the hiring manager is looking for
This one is fairly common for candidates and perhaps the most important on this list. Hiring managers expect you to be prepared. They don’t want to be running through a job description during the interview. It is expected that you have a good understanding of the position and the company before you sit face to face with the interviewer. Ensuring that you are well aware of the requirements and expectations is the first step in proving to the interviewer that you are capable of performing the job. Also, preparation will mean you have intelligent thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer.
- Not backing up your skills with experience
Your skillset is an extremely important factor that the interviewer will be assessing you on. It is very important that you are able to demonstrate where in your career you have used the relevant skills for the position. For instance, simply saying that you are great with customers is not the best way to show that to the interviewer. Instead, saying that your last position in retail sales gave you the skills needed to sympathize and work with customers will show the interviewer that you have learned this skill rather than observed it. Remember STAR. Situation, Task, Action and Result. For example, when I was working in a retail position I had a customer come in that was very upset that the widget she purchased was malfunctioning. I listened to her and then worked through the replacement process so she could get a new widget. She was very happy that I went outside of our normal process to research the warranty and found out that the manufacturer would provide a next day replacement. Backing up your skills with examples like this will show the interviewer that you have learned and mastered the skills you claim.
- Asking questions with obvious answers
Questions are important, but it is usually obvious when you are asking questions with very simple answers or questions that have already been answered. Candidates often make this mistake in an effort to show interest and concern. Be sure to ask questions that need to be asked and questions that you are genuinely unaware of the answer to, but don’t stress too hard over it. This can also display poor listening skills. If you prepared questions earlier be careful that the interviewer has not already answered it.
- Speaking poorly about past employers
Every person in the workforce has had at least one negative experience with a past employer regardless of fault. When the interviewer asks why you left your last position, refrain from using this as an opportunity to speak down on your past employer. Doing this will only make the interviewer question if you might do this to them if you are hired.
Be sure to remember these common errors next time you go into an interview so that you can avoid making them. Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t worry too much if you happen to slip up during your interview. Keeping your head up and your confidence high will show the interviewer that you are determined and capable of the job.
Every interview is one step closer to securing that job you’ve been dreaming about!
Good luck on your job search from the team at Palo Alto Staffing!