Interview FAIL! 5 Blunders to Avoid


You thought you nailed it!  You have all of the interviewing basics down.  You researched the company, showed up on time, asked thoughtful questions. In fact, you and the hiring manager seemed to have such great repair and a lot in common.  After a couple of days go by waiting for a job offer, you receive the email below:

Dear Savannah, Thank you for your interest in our Marketing Professional opportunity. We have interviewed a number of candidates with strong qualifications during our recruitment process. Although we sincerely appreciate your interest in our organization, we will not be proceeding with you as a candidate for this role. We hope your interest in career opportunities with ABC Company will continue. Please visit our website to learn more about ABC Company and other positions available in the future. We wish you the best of luck in your career search.

What went wrong?  Could it have been any of these 5 interview blunders?

1. Being Too Friendly.
A relaxed interviewing environment is no excuse to become complacent in your professionalism.

For example, a previous client I worked with was looking to progress in her career as a substance-abuse counselor.  This was her original area of study and expertise. She was empathetic, outgoing and an extremely hard worker. She had fantastic work experience and had unique insights based on personal experiences that enabled her to work effectively with those who sought counseling.   However, during an interview, she met her downfall while making small talk. After the interview, the hiring manager mentioned in passing that his son had recently received a DUI. He hoped that his son learned his lesson and be more responsible in the future.  My client, attempting to empathize shared her personal experience and admitted that she, too, had received a DUI ticket – on two separate occasions.  Needless to say, sharing such personal information on an interview is not the best idea.

Lesson learned: No matter how relaxed the interview environment is, always remain professional.

2. Not preparing enough
Reading books about job searching and interviewing articles are great ways to prepare for upcoming interviews.  But don’t stop there.  Solicit a friend or significant other to give you a dry run through a hypothetical interview with suggested questions from the books or articles you are reading. Even better, if you know someone who is a hiring manager or works in human resources (for a different company, of course),  or a career coach, ask them to conduct a mock interview with you.

Lesson learned:  You can never over prepare. By asking for the help of others, you will receive constructive criticism and be able to integrate a different perspective into your responses. You may even be asked a question that you never considered answering.  This will provide you with great practice for unexpected interview surprises.

3. Forgetting to stop talking.
When you are finished responding to an interview question, stop talking.  If you don’t you may fall victim to the two worst interviewers: “the poker face”and “the yes man.” The poker face will ask you a question and give no signs of life while you are responding. In hopes of eliciting a smile, nod, or comprehending grunt, you will elaborate. And elaborate. You will continue elaborating until you realize that the poker face is testing you. But, by the time you realize this, you have already lost. 

The yes man is just as challenging. He will nod his head and seem to understand and agree with every answer. Feeling encouraged by this enthusiasm, you will elaborate. And elaborate. You will continue elaborating until you realize that you shared too much.

Lesson learned: Be a STAR interviewer. Respond to interview questions completely and succinctly without superfluous commentary.

4. Failing to tone it down.
Everyone knows not to bad-talk a previous employer, but even a comment where you feel you have restrained yourself may ring sour with the interviewer. If you are jaded or unhappy with your current job situation or the interviewing process, keep those feelings to yourself.  If your personality is sarcastic or dry, make sure to take this down a notch as well. 

Lesson Learned: If you complain about your current situation, even in jest, a potential employer would seriously question whether you would say the same about them. Also, while your friends and family may understand your charismatic quirks, a complete stranger may not.

5. Not bringing supplies.
Bring a notepad, pen and a few copies of your resume.  If multiple members of management are administering the interview, make sure to provide a resume for each person.

Lesson learned: Taking notes shows a proactive attitude and commitment to the interview. Additionally, these notes will be useful later when writing a personalized thank-you note to the interviewers.

Interviews can be very stressful.  However, avoiding these 5 interview blunders will help you to be confident and to make a good impression

– Wishing you continued success!

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