Top 10 Interview Bloopers...and How to Avoid Them
We've all heard stories of job candidates who looked great on paper but who were absolute disasters in person. With fewer and fewer interview opportunities available in this competitive market, it's essential to make the best possible first impression. You can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the top 10 worst interview blunders.
* The Limp Hand: Gives the impression of disinterest or weakness
* The Tips of the Fingers : Shows lack of ability to engage.
* The Arm Pump: Sincerity is questionable, much like an over-agressive salesman.
Even if you're a seasoned professional, don't assume you have avoided these pitfalls. Your handshake may be telling more about you than you know. Ask for honest critiques from several friends who aren't afraid to tell you the truth.
Talking too much.
* Taking too long to answer direct questions. The impression: This candidate just can't get to the point.
* Nervous talkers. The impression: This candidate is covering up something or is outright lying.
To avoid either of these forms of over-talking, practice answering questions in a direct manner. Avoid nervous talking by preparing for your interview with role-play.
Saying negative things about your current or past employers/managers. The fastest way to talk yourself out of a new job is to say negative things. Even if your last boss was Attila the Hun, never, never state your ill feelings about him/her.
No matter how reasonable your complaints, YOU will come out the loser if you show that you disrespect your boss. When faced with the challenge of talking about former employers, make sure you are prepared with a positive spin on your experiences.
Showing up late or too early.
Treating the receptionist rudely.
Asking about benefits, vacation time or salary.
Not preparing for the interview.
One of the best ways to reduce or eliminate them is through role play. Practice sharing your best success stories ahead of time, and you'll feel more relaxed during the real interview.
Not enough/too much eye contact
Failure to match communication styles.
* If the interviewer seems all business, don't attempt to loosen him/her up with a joke or story. Be succinct and businesslike.
* If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his/her interests. Often the items on display in the office can be a clue.
* If asked a direct question, answer directly. Then follow up by asking if more information is needed.
When you allow the interviewer to set the tone of conversation, this can vastly improve your chances of making a favorable impression. You can put the interviewer at ease, and make yourself seem more like them, by mirroring their communication style.
Just as a strong resume wins you an opportunity to interview, strong interview skills will win you consideration for the job. You already know that you won't earn an interview unless your resume sets you apart as a candidate of choice. Likewise, you should know that polishing your interview skills can mean the difference between getting the job offer and being a runner-up.
Start your job search with a resume that creates a stellar first impression, then back those facts up with your extraordinary interview skills. You will have made yourself a better candidate by avoiding these ten interview pitfalls. And no one will have to talk about you as the candidate who "almost" got the job.