Have you ever left an interview knowing you made a mistake you WISH you could take back?
When you get an interview, you only get ONE chance to nail it.
Are you ready to ace it? Have no fear, we did the prep work for you.
Being prepared for your interview and knowing how to avoid pitfalls matters. Sometimes it’s the silly mistakes that leave a bad impression with recruiters but if you plan ahead, you can easily avoid them.
Here are the six most common mistakes that will kill your chances at a job offer:
…starting with the biggest, ugliest mistake you can make:
- Talking poorly about past employers: We see this mistake a lot. To the applicant, it seems innocent but to the recruiter, it may make you look like a chronic complainer who doesn’t take ownership of his/her issues. Your previous employer may have been frustrating to work for, but you will make yourself stand out if you show unconditional respect to that employer and withhold any negative comments.
- Acting like a know-it-all in the interview: Don’t mistake confidence for arrogance. If you act like you’ve done it all before and you talk in your interview about how you don’t need to be taught how to perform your work duties, you might be hurting your chances at a job offer. If a recruiter perceives you as a know-it-all, it shows that you might have a hard time taking direction and learning from your managers and your peers.
- Inconsistency between your application and your interview: Take time to make sure your application is correct. If you give answers in your interview that contradict your application, you’ll look like you are either not very thorough or you are being deceptive and hiding something. Double check your application and provide consistent answers.
- Hiding things about your background: Most companies will be doing a background check. If you hide things from your background, it will almost certainly disqualify you from a job offer. Having issues on your record won’t necessarily disqualify you from a job, but if you hide it, it signals dishonesty and turns potential employers off. When you disclose your background, it shows that you’re thorough and you’ve taken ownership for past mistakes.
- Not following instructions for the day of the interview: Recruiters are looking for people who are thorough and can follow instructions. When you schedule an interview, the recruiter will usually have instructions about time, location, paperwork, etc. If you don’t follow all of the instructions, you are setting a bad precedent that you won’t be able to follow instructions on the job either.
- Lack of follow-up: Many applicants don’t know if they should follow up after their application and interview. When in doubt, follow up. It shows that you are interested in the job and that you take the initiative to get things done. But some employers specifically request no emails or phone calls. If that is the case, then follow step #5 above and just wait patiently.
Good luck with your applications and interviews. If you need other tips and suggestions about job searching, interviewing, and wages, visit our blog for more topics for job seekers.