Most people do not prepare properly for an interview. A lot of time, energy
and money are spent in preparation for the chance to have an interview
meeting with a prospective employer. However, little to no preparation is
done for the interview itself. Most professionals spend an incredible amount
of time preparing their resume, and even make a considerable investment to
have their resumes prepared by skilled professionals so as to increase their
chances of getting the interview. Ironically, many of these same professionals
will then spend minimal time or investment in making certain that their interview
skills are fine tuned.
Dear job seeker here is 25 years of collective business experience and wisdom
boiled down into this piece of advice. Don’t prepare for the interview, IF
you don’t want the JOB!
Having an employer ask you to interview is not the ultimate goal; it’s the
second to last step in the overall job search process. The candidate
interview is only one of several steps along the way. Being the very best
candidate during the interview will typically result in the candidate landing
that dream job offer. Many professionals make the same mistakes during the
job search process.
Amazingly, these well educated, highly skilled and experienced professionals
keep repeating the same mistake and yet, expect different results or outcomes
from candidate interviews. Often professionals treat the interview as something
that is a forgone conclusion. Somehow the confusion develops from thinking that
the interview is the same as the job offer, let me reassure everyone taking a few
minutes to read this article, in a word WRONG!
So, if your goal is not landing the job of your dreams, then all you have to do is
make the same critical errors outlined for you below. I promise you that if you
consistently make all of the common mistakes listed the only job you land is the
one you don’t want; an eternity of searching for your next job.
Far more interviews are lost than won. There are things that will work to
your advantage in an interview, and then again there are things that will
absolutely kill your chances. Here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid,
if you want that job. Your chances for success vastly improve by not doing
what others do.
1. Don’t Conduct Any “Pre-Flight” Planning!
This is the single biggest mistake you can make. There is a direct
correlation to preparation and performance. Many professionals are walking
into their interviews ill-equipped and unprepared and expecting to make the
right impression. These professional are not walking away from the interview
with job offer and unfortunately become doomed to repeat the process until
the lesson is learned.
Good preparation means doing intensive research so that you know what you
need to know about the hiring authority, knowing your capabilities and what
you specifically can offer the hiring authority in the position they seek to
fill. You must prepare and then practice so as to be able to respond to
nearly any question thrown in your direction.
2. Don’t Be Dynamic, Be Passive During The Interview!
You do not need to conduct the interview. However, this is your time to shine.
You are in the spotlight. It’s your opportunity to prove that you are the
best candidate. It is not the interviewer’s job to pull the information from
you. Many people mistakenly believe that it’s up to the hiring authority’s
interviewer to figure out if you’re the best candidate. As the candidate, it
is your responsibility to make the interviewer aware of your capabilities and
why you are the best candidate to fill the open position.
Your goal is to make certain as you complete the interview, the interviewer
knows all of your qualifications and how you will make positive and powerful
contributions in your new position. By taking responsibility for your actions
and accepting that you must convey your skills, experience, talent and
persona in the most positive manner, it changes the way you prepare and how
you conduct yourself during the interview. It separates your candidacy from
Often professionals “wing it” during the interview process. The problem is,
if you do that you are leaving your career to chance and letting someone else
take control of your destiny. If you want to succeed in an interview, you
have to be proactive and think on your feet. An interview is the starting
gate of a competitive race – there’s only one winner. You should be thinking
about what you need to say and do during the interview to be recognized as
the best candidate to fill the position. What does the interview seek to find
in a candidate? What do they want to hear from me? How can I be the candidate
they select? Don’t get caught up in the mindset of not preparing for the
interview, think it through and plan for all possibilities so that you can
beat the competition.
3. Why Make A Good First Impression? I Can Always Make A Second One, Right?
Wrong! Here’s the fact – it only takes a few minutes for the interviewer to
assess his/her first impression of you. You only get one chance to make a
first impression. If you make a great first impression, the interviewer will
automatically look for more positive contributions throughout the remainder
of the interview to justify their first impression. The reverse is true. If
you make a bad first impression, the interviewer will look for bad things to
justify their first impression. It is either a Win-Win or Lose-Lose proposition
with no middle ground. Your first impression must be good.
You must start out strong and maintain the strength.
Starting strong means greeting the interviewer with confidence, being
personable, and conducting yourself professionally at all times. No matter
how formal or informal the interviewer may appear during the interview
process, you must exude confidence and professional demeanor.
Maintaining strength means nailing the first couple questions and all the
subsequent questions thrown out at you.
One of the most difficult questions can also be one of the easiest to answer.
Most interviewers want to hear a strong answer to these four words,
“tell me about yourself”. Often these four words may be the most important
question asked during an interview. Consequently, the question becomes the
most important one you need to know how to answer.
4. Value? Value? We Don’t Know Our Stinkin Value!
Knowing your specific value relative to the hiring authority is a big part of
your preparation. More important is the ability to articulate your value in a
concise, professional and intelligent manner. It boils down to good verbal
and non-verbal communication skills.
A couple of different ways to improve your communication skills
in an interview: 1) prepare yourself – know your value, memorialize
it through documentation and then practice. 2) ask for help -a professional
sounding board being either a qualified (recruiter) friend or career
professional, i.e., search recruiter or career coach, and 3) reflect on your
self figuratively and also in the mirror (remember to smile
and relax your words will flow smoothly) and then practice some more.
You will leap ahead of other the other competing candidates as they will most
likely stumble their way through the interview process. You will be the
coherent, articulate, intelligent candidate clearly expressing why you are
the best choice. You’ll be remembered for all the right reasons unlike your
5. Fake It Until You Make It?
Everyone going through a job search and interview process experiences a time
when there may be at least one qualification that you don’t have – maybe its
lack of industry experience, lack of a degree or a specific accreditation
they’ve asked to see from you, it could be anything. If you do lack something
they want or need, you need to be ready to address it and do so with
confidence. Whatever you do always be direct and honest.
Unfortunately, during interviews we are often times screened out for
something we lack rather than the other way around. So interviewers need to
convinced that if you don’t have exactly what they seek, you can learn it
quickly, or you’ll get it, or you have another skill that makes up for it.
Don’t give them the opportunity to make a big deal out of something you lack…
be poised and confident without showing any signs of being nervous. Find an
answer that eliminates their concern and most likely they’ll select you based
on what you can offer rather than eliminate you for something they deem
important that you don’t possess.
Remember, a superior resume is valuable because it gets you the interview…but
superior interviewing skills will get you the job! Improve your interviewing
skills, learn the best practices and strategies to succeed, and you will
consistently get the offers you want.
Wishing You All Job Search and Interviewing Success!
Author: David A. Blender
Article Source: EzineArticles.com