5 Common Interviewing Blunders

Many job hunters unwittingly sabotage their own chances by making common, but easily avoidable, interview mistakes. They will agonize over their resumes and cover letters but rehearse only minutes for what arguably is the most vital step in the whole job hunting process.

Here are 5 interviewing blunders that can cost you the job:

Arriving unprepared.
Before setting foot in the company’s offices, be sure you’re well-versed in as many of the firm’s products or services as possible. Try to make sure you can discuss knowledgeably how your skills and background will mesh with those of the company. You also need to have all your questions prepared in advance, along with your Top 8 accomplishments in your career.

Wearing the wrong clothes.
Experts say that no matter what the corporate culture–whether khakis and polo shirts or three piece suits–you should still dress professionally for that first interview. Simple, conservative business attire for both men and women are still the standard. No heavy fragrances, loud clothes or flashy jewelry.

Talking too much during the interview.
Some candidates are so eager to impress the interviewer that they scarcely allow questions to be asked. You wouldn’t be in the interviewer’s office if you did have the experience to do the job. Use the actual interview to impress the interviewer with your listening skills, confidence, enthusiasm and then thoughtfully address how you can be an asset to the company.

Undervaluing or overvaluing your worth.
In either case, don’t bring up salary at all, in the first interview. Depending on your situation, don’t ever offer to take less than what you are (were) paid or you will be percieved as damaged goods and/or a possible flight risk. Your negotiating goal is to be paid what you are worth. If you’re right for the job, you’ll get a reasonable offer. Once the company has made its offer, then you can decide to accept, reject or counter offer.

Acting desperate for the job.
Even if you’ve been on the job market for some time, the last thing most hiring managers want is someone who looks too eager, anxious or desperate. It may indicate there’s something wrong with you. If you’ve been asked in for an interview, then the company believes you have something to offer because of your skills and experience. Don’t derail that by acting too eager or nervous, or by asking questions such as, “When would you want me to start?” Instead, appear confident, remain neutral, relaxed and in control. Be a buyer not seller – especially in the first interview.

Good Hunting!
Coach Mark James

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