Stand out from other job candidates by avoiding these mistakes in the job interview.
Simple mistakes made in a job interview can lose you an opportunity faster than anything. Some of the more prevalent behavioral mistakes made by an interviewee are due to poor preparation and communication. Understanding common mistakes made by past job interviewees can help you identify your weaknesses in these areas and help you prepare to nail your next interview.
1. Rambling To Prevent Uncomfortable Silence
In an interview, you will be asked questions that pertain to the job you are seeking. The answers you provide to these questions should only relate to what they ask of you. If you are asked about your experiences with former team members, provide a short and concise answer that only gives the information necessary to answer the question. The interviewer did not ask that question with the intent for you to begin a story of how close your buddy and you were in your last job and the best happy hour stories from that relationship. Try not to ramble and keep your answers to answers only, not stories unless asked for specific scenarios.
While silence in a job interview can seem crippling, not feeling the need to fill in awkward silence with rambling is a virtue. The job interviewer will also appreciate remaining in control of the interview.
2. Over-Sharing In The Interview
One can say that rambling may have covered the concept of over-sharing, but you can definitely still over-share without rambling. When a question is asked, answer the question. If the interviewer asks, “Tell me about a time you have failed before,” answering the question about a past failed marriage is not the answer they were looking for. Answer questions with answers only relevant to the job you are seeking. It’s a professional interview, not a personal one. Showing that you can keep a healthy work/life balance can help show your potential to be a quality employee.
3. Ripping On Your Former Employer
If you have a problem with your former employer, the interview room is not the place to vent. If asked why you left your former job, be honest and tasteful as possible. Unless your previous boss was literally a criminal, there’s rarely a good reason for highlighting the negative attributes of specific individuals in a job interview. How you speak about a past employer gives clues to a hiring manager about how you may speak about a future one as well.
4. Leaving Your Cell Phone Ringer Turned On
You’re in a job interview and in the middle of an important conversation, your phone rings. Guess what that does to your chances of landing that position? All the apologies in the world won’t replace the fact you showed a lack of consideration and preparation to think to turn your phone off in an interview. If you actually pick up that phone or return a text message, don’t be surprised when you’re not called back. It’s common courtesy to turn off all phone notifications during a job interview. Unless you’re awaiting an emergency call, the safest route may be to turn your phone completely off. Let potential callers know that you will not be taking calls during the time of your job interview.
5. Not Dressing For Success
Dressing properly for an interview is important because it represents status and how you view yourself. Before an interview, assess whether or not the company has a more casual or formal workplace setting. If you’re not sure of the desired workplace attire, err on the side of overdressing — within reason, of course. While you may be the perfect candidate, making an amazing first impression is not subject to do-overs.
6. Not Researching The Company
Just as the interviewer for the company is researching you, you should definitely research the interviewing company. Go beyond the company website. Reach out to friends and colleagues within the business to gain insight on the company’s culture and inner workings to have a better understanding of the general feel of the company and how they spend their workday. This research will also help at the end of an interview when asked if you have any questions for the employer. Having knowledge of the company will help you generate questions and show your genuine interest in how the company operates.
Bonus: 7. Not Preparing To Answer “So, Tell Us About Yourself” Job Interview Elevator Pitch
When preparing for a job interview, there’s a huge temptation to prepare to answer very specific questions. However, a job interviewer may like to start job interviews by asking, “So, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself.” With a request that is so open to interpretation, it can be easy for your answer to go off of the rails in a hurry. One way to get ready for this request is to prepare a job interview elevator pitch — a 30-second pitch about your past, present, and future aspirations. Nailing your job interview elevator pitch can help set a great tone for a job interview.
Still Need Help? No Worries
Properly preparing for job interview questions and situations such as these can help ensure you don’t make those mistakes. Staying flexible allows you to answer in a way that shows that you aren’t a robot. For additional help in finding open positions, putting togther a resume, or nailing the interview, reach out to the Tulsa staffing firm, OakTree Staffing.