Interviewing for a job is usually seen as one of the most nerve wrecking things anyone needs to go through. For approximately 20-30 minutes, you are the subject of scrutiny of the most defining people in your industry as you are weighed by the sum of your parts. As if the pressure has not built up enough, you’ve dedicated a minimum of 4 hours crafting a resume that will package your competencies. You also took about 2 hours deciding what would be the best outfit for you to wear that will represent you as the professional you envision. Whether you are a novice or someone who has been in the workforce for a while, the pressure to impress is what makes any viable candidate balk and fail the interview.
Failure really, is only due to lack of preparation. Don’t be caught off guard the next time you go for a job interview. You’ll have a good idea of your success and how you’ll fare with the following in mind:
You know your interview will most likely fail if…
1. You arrive late.
Tardiness is never excusable unless in dire circumstances (ex. a REAL emergency). Being late due to traffic, getting lost or worse: forgetting that the interview is that day is simply unacceptable! All those excuses just show lack of preparation on your end.If running late is unavoidable, call ahead and give advance notice and give an estimate of when you will get there.
2. You come in looking unsure and conscious of how you look.
Fussing with your clothes, tucking your unruly hair or worse, combing or retouching make-up at the waiting area are screaming signs of unpreparedness. You must be on top of things even before you step into that office. Always keep in mind that eyes (and you never know whose!) are assessing you right at the first second. Ask for the nearest bathroom and primp there before your interview.
3. You did not offer a solid hand shake.
If by now you have not worked on your handshake, do so now. A firm handshake contributes to the first impression you make. Make sure you convey competence and sincerity with yours. Establish eye contact; say “Nice to meet you sir/ mam”, and smile.
4. You did not bring a resume.
You should feel that your resume is your masterpiece. How else will you have a prayer at having another person see you that way if you don’t have it to show off? Have several copies with you always and keep in mind that it should be truthful and highlight your strongest areas and accomplishments thus far. Only you can explain the value of the activities you have indicated in your resume so choose experiences you are most proud about. It will show when you are asked to tell them more about it.
5. You couldn’t maintain eye contact.
The ability to hold eye contact indicates sincerity and forges connection. If you feel uneasy maintaining eye contact, it might be because you are hiding something or not fully sure of what it is you are saying. The job interview weighs your ability to make connections and start relationships with people and eye contact plays a huge role attesting if you’ll be an asset and a great representative of the company.
6. You have no idea why you want to try for this job aside from the paycheck.
God forbid you like the job or that you have been dreaming of working for this company! If you have been dreaming of this profession and slaved years in school to qualify for it, show it. Otherwise, if this interview is just a shot in the dark for you in hopes of not being a bum, interviewers will definitely choose someone else who shows how much this job will mean to them. Know what the position entails and how you can successfully carry the role.
7. You proceeded to answer a question you did not understand in the first place.
We can sometimes get momentarily deaf due to nerves or maybe you just were not sure if you heard right. If you are unsure, ask again. Say: “Pardon me?” and listen up. If it is still unclear, don’t be afraid to clarify with a question. Asking will not show weakness or make them think you’re dumb. It shows you are honest and that you place importance in understanding correctly before responding.
8. You did not ask questions to know more about the job.
It is natural for you to have questions about the position you are interviewing for. Listing them beforehand can help you remember during the interview and will show your interviewer how invested you are in being a good fit for the company. Work hours and expectations on the job are acceptable questions but salary and holidays are not to be discussed unless the interviewer starts the discussion.
9. You did not highlight your skills related to the position you are vying for.
The interview is your chance to let them know that you are a good fit for the company. Don’t expect your resume to do the talking for you. Volunteer previous work experiences and stories that will align your skills with the position you are interviewing for. Don’t wait for the interviewers to ask about it and don’t let the interview end without having asserted that you are qualified to get the job done.
10. You did not thank your interviewer at the end of your interview.
Whether you felt a connection with the interviewer or not, remind yourself that every interview is an opportunity and a learning experience. For that, you should make it a practice to be grateful and thank your interviewer/s for his/her time. Always end interactions on a positive note. Wish them a good day ahead and offer another handshake as a sign of a potential partnership. A graceful exit can be just as impressionable.