Job interviews are a necessary part of every working professional’s life. Whether you’re unfazed by them or shudder at the thought of these meetings, it’s important to know how to make a great impression. Competition for the best positions can be intense, so it’s important to distinguish yourself.
During a job interview, you want to present yourself as a strong candidate who possesses the skills required to excel. However, just as it’s important to know what to say and do to make a great impression, it’s also essential to know what mannerisms and behaviors can hurt your chances of being chosen for the position.
Preparing for an upcoming job interview? Avoid exhibiting the following behaviours, as doing so may cost you the job:
1) Displaying a lack of confidence:
Hiring managers want to take on new employees who are confident in their ability to make positive contributions to the organization. If you exhibit signs of being unsure you can effectively complete the job, you present yourself as a liability ─ and no one wants to hire someone who strongly believes they will fall short of expectations.
While you don’t want to portray yourself as arrogant or overconfident, it’s essential to see yourself as the best person for the job, because if you don’t believe in yourself, why should a hiring manager?
2) Speaking negatively about your employer:
If you’re looking for a new job, it’s quite clear that you’re not satisfied in your current one. However, that doesn’t give you free reign to bash management or the organization.
Many interviewers will ask why you want to leave your existing company as something of a test. You’ll pass if you use discretion and show respect, but you won’t get anywhere by displaying animosity. The interviewer will suspect you’ll be equally willing to badmouth a new employer.
3) Failing to maintain a professional appearance:
You only get one chance to make a great first impression on an interviewer, so don’t ruin it by presenting yourself in an unprofessional manner. Always dress professionally, even if you’re informed the office has a casual dress code. Come prepared with extra copies of your resume and something to take notes on. Remember, it’s always better to be over prepared than underprepared.
4) Opting to not customize your resume:
It’s no longer enough to just submit a standard resume for a position ─ you need to customize it for each position. Carefully review the job description to search for commonly used keywords and incorporate them into your resume. Elaborate on skills and experience relevant to the position and customize your objective for the job. Hiring managers want to review your resume and feel like you wrote it for that specific job, rather than reading a document that could be applicable for any position, anywhere.
5) Exhibiting bad manners:
Never let your guard down during a job interview. Maintaining your composure throughout the course of the meeting is a must, as you don’t want to appear unprofessional. Avoid displaying bad habits such as cursing, interrupting and displaying nervous mannerisms at all cost.
The interviewer may test you by steering the conversation to an informal topic, so remain composed regardless of the subject matter. Keep words like “umm” and “like” out of your vocabulary.
6) Exaggerating the truth:
It’s great to want to impress the interviewer, but if you stretch the truth so far that you’re no longer being genuine, they’ll see right through you. Honesty is an important quality sought by hiring managers. It’s much better to tell the truth ─ even if you think it presents you in an unflattering manner ─ than risk being perceived as fake or a liar.
7) Focusing on salary instead of the job:
It’s only natural to want to know salary information for a job, but asking questions too early can ruin your chances of employment. A hiring manager wants someone who is genuinely interested in the work ─ not a person just looking for a paycheck. Steer clear of the salary issue unless the interviewer brings it up first. Wait until you’re extended a job offer to discuss your pay and begin entering into negotiations.
Additionally, it’s important to always have a few questions prepared for the end of the interview when it’s your turn to ask. Not only will your questions help the interviewer to remember you, they also make you appear more interested in the position. Take the time to formulate a few questions before the interview, in case you get nervous and forget to come up with any during the meeting.
The importance of taking the time to properly prepare for job interviews cannot be stressed enough. Conduct research on the company, dress to impress and ask well-informed questions. The more effort you put into the interview, the better impression you’ll make.
Author: Marwa Hijazi writes about business topics such as negotiations for notredameonline.com.