Many job seekers take for granted certain interview myths and accept them as fact and these in turn can limit their interview performance and potentially hold back their careers. In the first part of this article we exposed and debunked five leading interview myths, and these were:
1. You can never be too early to an interview.
2. You should offer a vice-like handshake to your interviewer.
3. You can’t show nerves.
4. First impressions are everything.
5. Interviewers are in Zen-like control.
Below are the next five interview myths:
1. Interviews are a one- way process. Any candidate who goes to an interview expecting a one-way question/answer process is living in the dark ages. Interviews are a two-way process and candidates should be asking pertinent questions about the employer’s business to ascertain whether they can be an engaged and high performer at the company. This does not mean interrupting every five minutes, but feel comfortable asking the interviewer to clarify or expand around the current topic of discussion if it helps your understanding. Also, make sure you have several questions ready to ask at the end. Employers can interpret a lack of candidate questions as a lack of passion, interest and engagement, and it won’t reflect well on your application.
2. You have to wait until the end to ask questions. This is a myth; you don’t have to wait until the end to ask questions. Doing so can make the interview feel like a turgid information download, rather than an exchange, which can make it hard to develop a rapport with the interviewer, as you don’t really get to have much of a two-way interaction to experience chemistry. So, try and ask several questions during the course of the interview, but not too many as you don’t want to upset the natural flow of the interview. Try and ask questions that are pertinent to the question you have just answered, or perhaps offer further enlightenment, or which help you to clarify something.
3. There is a correct answer for every question. Of course, you’ll receive many factual questions assessing your specific knowledge, where this is a right and wrong answer, but many questions at interview will be behavioral questions about how you behaved in specific situations. They will be interested in seeing what approaches you adopted to handle the situation, and the approach you adopt will be dependent on the unique situation, and the outcome will depend both on what you did and the unique qualities of the situation. There can be many “correct” answers given the circumstances; failure could even be acceptable given the correct external circumstances. Employers want to see how you handle and operate in specific situations.
4. The most qualified person will always get the job. Research shows that many modern employers place a premium on culture fit, (as evidenced by your personality and hobbies and interest), and this can be more important to the selection decision than skills and experience. This means that the most qualified person does not always get the job. So, even if you are the most perfectly qualified applicant on paper, you’ll need to bring an emphasis on your social affinity with the manager and the employer to really make your application sparkle.
5. There’s no way of knowing what questions are going to be asked. You can’t work out the exact questions, admittedly, but you may be able to get an indication of the types of questions that have been asked using a site like Glassdoor, where candidates give quite frank details of what they were asked by specific employers for specific jobs in specific offices at specific times of the year. There are many sites out there providing this kind of interviewee feedback so you can get some good, inside knowledge on what questions may be asked.
Good luck in your next interview!