Five Fatal Flaws When Interviewing

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Feb 17, 2011 in , , | No Comments

Interviews are opportunities to “sell yourself” to make an employer want you.

Don’t limit your chances by committing these mistakes…

No Enthusiasm

If you don’t show interest in the job you’ve applied for, or the company, you will be weeded out immediately. As Dan Miller, (Life Coach and author), states: “Enthusiasm, boldness and confidence will often do more for you in an interview than another college degree.”

Possess enthusiasm, walk into the interview with a smile, firm handshake, and completely prepared. Your demeanor speaks to the interviewer that you are confident, knowledgeable, happy to be there and want the job.

All About Me

The person who enters a job interview only thinking of health benefits, vacation days and perks–before they even have an offer–are on the wrong path. The focus of the interview is to let the employer know you are there for them and their needs.

Once you have been offered the job, then negotiations begin. Hear them out, let them state the package, you present your own set of preferences for the position, and can counter their wage offer.

The Generalist

A person with unclear job goals sabotages possibilities for employment. Looking for “any job” shows desperation. Be specific, know what you are seeking and focus on that. Understand you must let the employer know why you are a great candidate for the job.

Even if you have a vast amount of experience doing 100 things, don’t list them on your cover letter or resume unless they are applicable to the job sought.

Make a Bad Impression

While some employees have purple hair, multiple piercings, and more tattoos than Jesse James, it’s best to tone it down in an interview. You’ll want to dress to fit into the more conservative end of the organization, not stand out in the crowd. Be sure to do the basics: shine shoes, iron clothes and not spray on a large amount of perfume or after shave. Smokers, don’t do it right before an interview–the smell will linger in your hair and clothes. Think about looking as professional as you can. When in doubt, ask for opinions from those who always dress in business attire.

An interviewer will form an impression on whether they want to hire you within the first 10 seconds of meeting you.

Not Selling Yourself

The interview is a process of selling yourself to an employer. When you can’t sell yourself, nobody will be buying. Know what your accomplishments are, highlight those. Tell the employer what you can do for them. You’ll be able to do this well if you’re prepared.

Follow up your interview (that day) with a neatly written thank you card, or e-mail. Always ask when they’ll be making a final decision, then telephone them, if you hear nothing that morning. Let the employer know you are interested in the position you interviewed for and thank them for their time. Good luck!

©2009 Judy Anne Cavey, who resides in the S.F. Bay Area of California, is a credentialed, certified, higher education instructor who taught Work Experience/Cooperative Education and ESL at three community colleges. She is also a freelance writer and grant writer currently authoring a textbook, has designed other learning programs, and worked with several nonprofits. Her Edublog, “Work Experience”, is a not-for-profit endeavor designed to assist job seekers of all ages.