No one will argue that interviews are a nerve-racking experience.
But there are certain things some candidates do that ruin their chances from the start – pretty much making it impossible to recover.
Do you do any of the following during a job interview?
If so, you might be sabotaging your chances at landing a new job:
- Using too many filler words when answering questions: “You know,” “umm,” “er,” “like”… these are all very distracting to an interviewer. You’ll sound much more educated and poised by eliminating (or at least minimizing) your use of these words.
- Failing to research the company: At the very least, you should take a few minutes to check out the organization’s website before your interview. If you have more time, look into their recent press mentions, financials, etc. to get a handle on how the past few years have been and how you can benefit the organization in your new role.
- Talking for too long: When someone says, “tell me about yourself,” they don’t want to hear your whole life story. And, although employers want you to give specific examples of past behaviors and accomplishments, it doesn’t mean you should do all of the talking. Watch for nonverbal signals.
- Sounding scripted: Although you should certainly practice your interview answers prior to the in-person meeting, you shouldn’t script your answers out. This will inevitably make you more nervous, particularly if you haven’t prepared for a specific question or get flustered during your answer. Instead, formulate a general idea in your head about key points you’d like to hit in your answer.
- Not truly wanting to work for the company: During a recent interview for one of the open positions at my company, I asked a candidate what she liked most and what she liked least about her previous positions. She told me she disliked working in a virtual (sometimes called remote or telecommute) environment…which Come Recommended happens to be. (This is made clear in all our job ads.)
- Nervous laughing: Hiring managers understand that you might be nervous, but just like filler words, laughing is totally distracting from your answer…and just might be the only thing the employer remembers from your interview. You don’t want that—do you?
- Offending or otherwise rubbing the interviewer the wrong way: Being condescending, rude or impersonal during your interview will definitely make the interviewer think twice about hiring you. After all, they’ll have to deal with you on a daily basis in the office, and no one wants to work with someone difficult.
What else would make an interviewer instantly reject a job candidate?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.