7 Blunders That Will Kill a Job Interview
Have you had multiple interviews and no job offers? It could be that you’re annoying your interviewers – and your flawless resume can’t save you if that’s the case.
There are a number of ways that candidates can accidentally turn off their interviewers. Make sure you avoid the following seven pitfalls:
1. Arrogant Much?
You could be one of the strongest assets a company could ever have, but how about letting your work speak for itself instead of tooting your own horn? When you walk into an interview laying out demands, you demonstrate that you’re an arrogant person who’s unlikely to be a team player.
Why not focus less on salary and company perks and more on what you can bring to the table and how this new position might fit into your work-life balance?
2. Evaluating Past Employers
Even if your previous boss was a jerk, you don’t need to relay this information to your interviewer. Negatively evaluating a former employer during an interview indicates that you’ll likely make similar or worse comments about your new employer later on down the line. Taking a negative approach also communicates an inability to responsibly assess and grow from past situations.
Instead, discuss a challenging work task and how you objectively resolved the issue, or what you’ve learned and plan to apply to future positions.
3. Buzzwords Without Substance
“I optimally uphold all OSHA privacy standards.” Huh? OSHA does not set privacy standards – and by trying to sound impressive, you’ve just extended your job search. If you try to sound as though you know more about an industry than you really do, it’s likely that your resume will be discarded.
Instead, research industry vernacular and make certain to use those terms sparingly and within their proper contexts.
4. Untimely Multitasking
It’s easy to begin multitasking while you hold a phone conversation because the other person cannot see you, which makes you feel less bad about doing it.
But multitasking while on a phone interview is always a terrible idea. If you’re distracted, your responses will be slow and possibly unrelated to the questions asked of you. Not only will the recruiter grow annoyed with you, but they will also feel as though you have no respect for their time. Not a good message to send.
When you start a phone interview, don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Set aside time to fully engage with the interviewer in a quiet space.
5. Sporadic Employment
If you’ve held multiple jobs over a short period of time, recruiters are less likely to take you seriously as a job prospect.
Consider your current job history and where you’d like to be in 5-10 years. If your work history does not display progression in the direction of your long-term goals, then it’s time to start on a career path that does. Your first step might include honestly communicating this conscious effort to your interviewer.
Recruiters consider you to be a strong candidate when they see that you have and are carrying out a clear career plan.
6. Lack of Preparedness
On the day of your interview, you walk boldly into the office, sign in, and then have a seat.
But once you’re seated with the interviewer, you offer weak responses. And when you leave, you realize you have no idea to whom you should address your thank-you letter, because you didn’t take any notes.
Always anticipate which questions you’ll be asked during an interview and practice your responses until they flow naturally. Show that you are interested in what the interviewer has to say by bringing a notebook and pen with you to the interview – and actually use that notebook and pen.
7. Blind Ambition
Are you that job hunter who applies for hundreds of job positions in various industries without a clear indication of what’s truly required of you? Quantity is rarely better than quality in this case.
You’d be better off focusing your efforts toward a select few companies that you research well. Why take a job somewhere that doesn’t genuinely interest you? Plus, interviews will quickly pick up on your lack of passion when you walk into the room.
Keep in mind that recruiters spend about as much time – or more – reviewing resumes as you do crafting them. Take the time to fully understand what’s required of you in a position before applying. And once you land that interview, avoid these blunders for sure.