There is nothing worse than the feeling that you did something wrong in a job interview. It’s important to remember, however, that we all make mistakes, especially when we are nervous. And while it may seem that some people are masters of the job interview, even experienced candidates can blow it from time to time.
Some of the most common interview mistakes are easy to avoid if you know what they are and how to proactively combat them.
Talking Too Much
When we are nervous, we can often talk too much, which typically leads to poor listening behaviors. From the moment you sit down in the chair, make an effort to listen very closely to each question and to watch your interviewer for nonverbal cues that will let you know if you are rambling. If she starts fidgeting in her chair, for example, it’s probably time to wrap up your answer and move on.
The Big Salary Mistake
Candidates commonly make a big mistake when it comes to salary negotiation. They bring up the subject far too early in the hiring process. Interviewers can be turned off by those who jump right into salary talk.
If the interviewer brings up salary, then it’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your feelings with compensation related to the position. If the topic isn’t broached, then wait until at least the second interview and ask an open-ended question – “What salary range do you have in mind for this position?” Listen carefully to the response before continuing the conversation.
Bringing a Beverage
If you need to fuel up before your interview, it’s only natural to turn to coffee, tea, or soda. While it’s perfectly fine to drink a beverage on the ride to the employer’s office, it’s essential to leave the cup behind. Having a drink in front of you makes it very easy to become distracted – you may stare at the cup out of nervousness, miss a question while taking a sip, or you may even spill the drink on yourself, the desk, or the interviewer.
Letting Your Guard Down Too Much
When you’re really getting along with your interviewer and you find you have several things in common, it can be very easy to let your guard down and reveal too much personal or irrelevant information. Always remember that no matter how much you may like the interviewer as a person, you must remain professional at all times.
Lack of Preparation
Even the most seasoned job seeker can underprepare for an interview. Underpreparing can take many forms. It may mean you didn’t spend enough time researching the company, perhaps you didn’t realize that the interview would include behavioral questions or that the format would be team-interview style.
Do as much research as you can before stepping into an interview. Use resources like Glasdsoor’s interview tool to help you learn what the process is like, and what you can expect from your interview. Research the company and be ready for an interview that may include behavioral questions.
Another great way to prepare for interviews and avoid potential mistakes is to partner with a professional recruiter. If you are a professional in engineering, information technology, operations, sales, or marketing, and you are looking for new and exciting career opportunities, contact The Prevalent Group today. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement and recruitment agency that works with innovative organizations in Northern Illinois and beyond. We can help you locate job opportunities that align with your long-term personal and professional goals, and we can help prepare you for interviews so that you make a positive impression each and every time.