The number of mistakes you can make in a job interview is practically endless. On top of that, it is all but impossible to get direct feedback on why you are no longer being considered for the role. This can make it very challenging to identify areas for improvement with your interviewing. While it would be a Herculean task to break down every way you can fall short in a job interview, we’ve identified a few of the most common mistakes we see and how to correct them.
The Mistake: You didn’t research the company thoroughly.
The Fix: Do your homework! Your research should focus on things that are going to help you understand how the company thinks and operates. Learn their competitive advantages, who their competition is, how they differentiate themselves in the marketplace, as well as their corporate values and mission statement. These are the kinds of details you can integrate into your interview. This allows you to position yourself as the right “fit” for them.
The Mistake: You didn’t ask any questions.
The Fix: Come on, we’ve been over this, you HAVE to have questions prepared ahead of time. Just to be safe, write them out and bring them with you! Ask questions about the company, the industry as a whole, and about the job itself. Make sure you have plenty of questions prepared – there’s a good chance many will be answered throughout the interview.
The Mistake: You didn’t align your skills with the job requirements.
The Fix: Study the job description and establish some key points where you can highlight similar skills or experience you have. Use the same key words and similar verbage to make the connection crystal clear.
The Mistake: You didn’t establish rapport with the interviewer.
The Fix: We see too many candidates try to put on their “interview face” and come across as overly professional and absent of personality. Be tactful in the interview, but be yourself. Don’t be afraid to share personal details about yourself. Remember that the hiring manager isn’t just looking for someone who can do the job – they’re looking for someone they’d enjoy working with as well.
The Mistake: You didn’t close.
The Fix: For sales professionals, the need to close should be obvious; but for any other profession, it’s a wise move as well. The close can be as simple as saying, I’m really interested in this role, what’s the next step in the process? This shows that you are taking the initiative, and informs the employer know you’re still interested in the job.
Ok, so there’s actually nothing new or creative about these mistakes. These are all things that everyone has probably been guilty of before. We hope you’ll find them more helpful than telling you not to ask if you can bring your cat with you on business trips (and yes, that really happened).