You may fall into the category of the majority of people who dread interviewing. You may even be part of a group which is unhappy in the job you are in, but feel complacent knowing that to get into another career that means you will have to endure a series of interviews. If either of these is the case, you are not an outlier; in fact, you are a typical interviewee.
Often, it helps to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes to fully understand the purpose of the interview. Hiring managers look for a variety of indicators when meeting with a prospective candidate to fill a position. Among the factors include to assess potential and competency, but that by far is not the only purpose. Consider the following appraisal opportunities it gives to employers:
- Communication skills
- Match with workplace culture
In addition, interviews can vary greatly in time length. Some may be quick and last a mere 30 minutes or so, where you may not get the sense that the manager really was interested in getting to know you. Others may last several hours and may include you meeting with several staff members and supervisors. Moreover, some interviews could even incorporate a computer test which can provide an indicator on whether or not you possess the skills needed for the open position.
Despite the variability in structure among interviews and the ways the meeting can be conducted, some facts are universal as surefire ways that you could turn an interview into a disaster.
Mistakes To Avoid When Making A First Impression
It is not uncommon to leave an interview while second guessing yourself on a few of your answers, even if you know the top interview questions to prepare for in advance. There will always be a little voice in your head reminding yourself that you could have answered this question or that one a bit better. The long and short of it is that it could be quite difficult to sell yourself to complete strangers who are seeing you with a blank slate. Good interviewers know this fact, and they can also pretty quickly pick up on a con artist or simply someone who is genuinely nervous and falls a bit short on nailing a question.
However, there are some blunders that are less forgiving and could guarantee you never get a call back with the job offer. Here are a few:
- Timing: The rule of thumb as pertaining to when to arrive for your job interview is 10-15 minutes earlier than scheduled. Anything more or less than that could be seen as a red flag. In addition, if you arrive later – no matter what the excuse you have – almost certainly ensures you lost your chance for the job.
- Knowledge About the Company: It is essential that you conduct some research about the company in which you are interviewing for. It is really impressive if you can slip in some anecdotes during an interview about facts you remembered and noted. Even if this knowledge comes through as questions, a potential manager could be intrigued with your efforts to get to know the company.
- Turn Off Your Devices: It probably goes without saying that you should silence, or better yet, turn off your phone or tablet. Emails, texts, and social media posts can wait until after your meeting has ended. The last thing you want to show to a hiring manager is that you prioritize your device over your job.
Other big turnoffs include failing to catch on to the interviewer’s cues. Be particularly attentive to both verbal and nonverbal signals. This attentiveness will give you a lead into what you should elaborate on and when you should be listening instead of speaking. Moreover, try to have a question or two available for the person you are meeting with. An interview is a two-way street; therefore, it is always a bad sign if you do not care enough to find out more about the place you may one day be working at.
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