You've heard the obvious job interview advice: don't be late, don't dress inappropriately, and don't curse your former employer. You've been around the block—you know this stuff.
What ELSE might be going wrong? Here a few things I've observed in my years of working with clients.
1) Being Cocky
They're good at what they do, they know it, and they communicate that they're somehow above the process. Some others don't prepare because "I'm really good at interviewing." Others underestimate what's coming and just wing it.
2) Not being able to articulate your skills
I've seen a lot of very accomplished people who can't articulate their skills, especially people who haven't had to look for work in a long time. Unless you can clearly articulate how you produce value, your chances of getting hired are close to nil.
3) No good, concise stories
Many people make very impressive accomplishments sound ordinary. Others have stories that go on and on and on—boring! Still others just get tongue tied.
4) Talking techno-speak
If you're in a technical field; remember that some interviews may be conducted by non-technical people--HR for instance. Don't make their eyes glaze over. This is particularly important for those whose jobs involve communicating with non-technical people.
5) Not doing your homework about the company
An even worse turnoff is someone who doesn't know what the organization is about. Find out about the company's mission, strategic goals, and new developments to understand where the company is headed.
6) Not doing your homework about the interviewers
This is a chance for you to score some extra points. If you know in advance who the individual(s) is who will be conducting your interview, read up on him/her.
7) Not having a good answer for the sensitive questions
If you don't handle these questions right, you're dead in the water. The good news is that most of the time, you know what these questions will be in advance—so be prepared!
Follow these steps:
A. Listen to the question
Make sure you understand exactly what the interviewer is asking and why. If you're not clear, ask for clarification.
B. Take time to think
If caught off guard, pause a moment and give a thoughtful response.
C. Use Positive Information
Use positive information to put yourself in a favorable light. Be truthful, but remember, you are marketing yourself. Don't volunteer negative information. For example, Jane is moving across the country to reunite with her high school flame, but she should keep such personal details private.
D. Refocus attention by asking a question of your own
Don't let the conversation linger on your liabilities. Take the initiative to refocus attention by asking the employer a question.
8) Not being prepared to discuss about money
They may screen you out because you were making too much or too little, concluding that you won't be happy with the salary or the job demands exceeds your skill level. This is a big topic for another day. Be sure to read Jack Chapman's book, Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute
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Nationally-recognized career coach Steve Frederick has been helping clients set and reach their career goals for many years. Call today.
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