Although cover letters, resumes, and job applications are a big part of the hiring process, the interview, by far, is the single most important step. Being prepared for an interview is crucial and should be taken seriously. Always do the apporriate research beforehand and make sure you are on time, dressed to impress, and that you actively engage the person you are meeting with. Below are the top 7 reasons great candidates do not succeed getting the job they want:
1. Being Late for the Interview
Arriving late to an interview not only makes you appear disorganized, it also could result in you being flustered and your confidence level might be lowered. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes early so you can catch your breath and get your head in the game for your meeting. Don’t arrive more than fifteen minutes early however, because this might inconvenience your hiring manager, causing them to rush to meet you.
2. Poor Personal Appearance
This goes hand in hand with arriving late. Having a poor personal appearance creates an impression of being disorganized and tells your interviewer that you are not taking the position seriously. Always ensure you wear a suit that is freshly dry cleaned and steamed, make sure your shoes are polished, and your makeup and jewelry is kept modest.
3. Not Asking Questions About the Job or Company
This goes hand in hand with research, and is also just as important as arriving on time and being professionally dressed. The interview is your opportunity to find out whether the job you are discussing is right for you. Ask questions about the specific role or about any recent company news. This demonstrates that you are not only interested in the role, but that you are also actively listening.
4. Poor Knowledge/Lack of Research
Research prior to the interview is absolutely essential. Be sure to closely review the job description provided and have a clear outline of how your experience and skills apply to that job. Also, be sure to research the LinkedIn profiles of the hiring managers you are meeting with as well as the company’s website, social media, and competitors’ websites. This will allow you to be aware of any industry trends and company news that might be applicable to your conversation. It will also allow you to be confident during your discussions.
5. Inability to Express Oneself Clearly
Prior to your interview ensure you practice several times so you can clearly articulate your experience and how your skillsets apply to the specific job. The more prepared you are, the more you are likely to clearly demonstrate that you are a great fit and the best candidate for the job.
6. Condemnation of Past Employers
When asked about your current or previous employers or your reasons for leaving those companies, always be tactful, kind, and fair. Remember, if you speak negatively about a prior employer, it might make you appear defensive or create doubts as to whether you will speak negatively of them as well. If you must say something negative, ensure it is a constructive critique.
7. Poor Eye Contact
Eye contact is very underrated but very important. When you make eye contact with your interviewer, you are able to better connect with them on a personal level. This also shows that you are engaged in what they are saying and find the work they are describing to be interesting.
Make sure you avoid these 7 interview pitfalls so you do not get disqualified from the interview process. Also, never forget the thank you email after your meeting!
Interested in learning more about how to ace your next interview and land yourself in the right job? Partner with ICS by applying with us to learn more.