Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Five Interview Mistakes to Avoid

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An interview is a controlled conversation between you, (the seller), and the employer (the buyer), to determine if there is a mutual fit between the company's requirements and your qualifications. Ideally, an interview should be a productive conversation. On the other hand, it is very easy to trip yourself up by making some common interview mistakes many job candidates often make. Here are some tips that will prevent you from making some common job interview mistakes and sabotaging your chances of getting the job.

1. Turn off your cell phone: Having a cellphone ring during an interview, or worse, answering it, will definitely not impress the interviewer. Recruiters report this is a very common interview mistake

2. Avoid reciting you resume and cover letter in the interview: Instead, focus on selling yourself and expanding on what your documents say. Tell the interviewer why the company should hire you. Elaborate on your qualifications.

3. Avoid being negative: You'll make a big interview mistake if you ramble on about how your previous employer may have been a jerk or a tyrant. Drawing attention to this fact portrays you as being critical and gossipy. Try to re-frame your past experiences, emphasizing what you learned.

4. Watch poor body language: Slouching, avoiding eye contact and a limp handshake portray a tentative attitude and a lack of confidence. On the other hand, sitting up straight, leaning forward in your chair, having a firm handshake, and smiling convey self-assuredness, warmth, honesty, and enthusiasm.

5. Be sure to follow up: If you are seriously interested in the job, then avoid the mistake of just sitting and waiting. Follow-up! That can make the difference between a second interview (even an offer) or falling off the radar. Drop off a hard copy note to the interviewer (rather than an e-mail) within 24 hours of your meeting. Thank the interviewer his/her time and reiterate your interest in and qualifications for the position; he/she will better remember you and your note will reaffirm your enthusiasm and interest in the job.
It takes common sense to performing well in an interview; it also takes common sense to avoid these common interview pitfalls which can derail your success.

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