10 Biggest Job Interviewing Mistakes

by Shari Hearn - Date: 2007-01-11 - Word Count: 775 Share This!

Okay, so you made the commitment to go back to school and learn new skills or acquire a degree in order to make yourself more marketable. Now it's time for the job interview. Just make sure that you don't waste all those months (and maybe years) of education and skill upgrading and blow it all with a bad job interview.

What are some of biggest job interview mistakes?

1. The number one biggest job interview mistake is to fail to research the company for which you're interviewing. It may seem obvious, but many people just don't do their homework and find out about the company for which they hope to work. For example, have you gone to the company's website if they have one? Do you know the CEO's name, the stock ticker symbol (if applicable), and the names of their biggest competitors? Failure to be prepared with knowledge of the company shows disinterest to the interviewer. Make sure you know as much as you can about the company before stepping foot in the interview room.

2. Dressing inappropriately for the interview. Notice the word "inappropriately," which can imply under-dressed as well as over-dressed. For example, casual clothes are inappropriate for a corporate job. A suit and tie can be inappropriate for a creative job or laid-back company. A cocktail dress is just inappropriate. The more you know about the company, the more you know what appropriate and inappropriate clothing is to that company.

3. Not knowing why you're there. Be clear you know exactly for what position you're interviewing. It's not a job you're interviewing for, it's a position, a need you're fulfilling for the company. How can you convey the fact you're right for the position if you're not really clear on what it is?

4. Not being rested. If you've partied the night before, are lacking sleep, and didn't give yourself adequate time to prepare for the interview, it shows. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and your clothes are pressed and ready. In addition, make sure you've eaten something before the interview.

5. Not knowing how to physically get to the interview. Many people make the mistake of neglecting to find out exactly where the interview is being held and how to get there. Go to MapQuest or look at a paper map, but make sure you know how to get to the building. You might want to drive the route the night before so you'll know where to park and how far the building is from the parking lot. If you end up late to your interview because you didn't know how long the drive would take, or exactly which route to follow, you've already lost the interview before stepping in the room.

6. Not defining your strengths. Leave a positive impression with the interviewer about what benefit they would receive by hiring you. This is where you really have to market yourself and let the interviewer know what you can do for them. You have to let the company know what sets you apart from all the other applicants.

7. Not asking questions. When the interviewer asks you at the end of the interview if you have any questions for them, are you prepared with 3-4 intelligent questions, or do you just smile and say, "not really." Interviewers like it that you ask questions. But, make them questions that show your interest in the company. Steer away from questions like "and how many vacation days do I get again?"

8. Trying too hard. It's tricky, but the real key is to just be yourself and don't try too hard to be liked. You know people who try too hard - they laugh at all your jokes, even when they're not jokes; they show fake enthusiasm and they overly agree with everything you say. Don't be that person. Be you.

9. Not listening. Don't let your mind wander in the interview, stay focused on what is being said. Don't miss the current question by trying to anticipate the next one. And, don't get carried away by your internal critic who's critiquing everything you're doing. If you make a mistake, don't focus on the criticism in your head, but, rather, focus on what the interviewer is talking about.

10. Criticizing your former boss. Above all, don't dish the dirt about your current or former employment. Be graceful about any disagreement you are having or have had with your former boss. If you start criticizing former employers, the interviewer might think you might do the same regarding your employment with them someday.

For career advice, including how to make a resume stand out and career assessment test information, go to www.trainingfordifferentcareer.com

Related Tags: employment, mistakes, career advancement, job interview, job skills, interviewing, interview skills, first impression

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