Interviewing for a job you’ve always wanted can be a very stressful experiences. There are a lot of mistakes you can make while trying to impress your future employer. Below are some of the biggest mistakes you can commit during a job interview.
1. Saying something overly positive when asked about weaknesses
Your interviewer will inevitably ask if you have any weakness. Be honest when this happens. Don’t state an obviously positive trait as your biggest weakness. The interviewer will know that you’re lying and may even think of you as someone who is way too desperate for the job. Consider giving a trait that is both equally positive and negative. Alternatively, state a minor weakness of yours and point out that you are currently working hard on improving.
2. Bad-mouthing your previous employer
When asked about why you quit your last job, under no circumstance should you ever badmouth your previous employer. You don’t have to sing praises about your previous employer, but remember to practice a bit of tact. Never say anything that directly attacks the last company you worked for. There’s always a kinder way to phrase any complaint you may have had.
Don’t say that you feel “undervalued as an employee”, instead say something along the lines of “preferring a position with more responsibility.” Careful, thought out answers like these make you sound like you’re dedicated and hungry for a challenge. Phrase all of your answers toward your previous employer in a constructive and objective manner.
3. Not asking questions
Always ask questions if you can. Get your interviewer talking. Asking questions is a surefire way to show that you’re not only interested in the job but in the company as well. Ask questions about the work environment or what your responsibilities may be like. The best questions to ask are conversational in nature. Failing to ask questions makes you look uninterested, which as previously mentioned, is a bad thing.
4. Taking too long to answer questions
Don’t take ten minutes to formulate a response to a question. Prepare answers for the most commonly asked interview questions beforehand. At the same time, don’t give unnecessarily long answers. Give concise and well thought out responses. Always get straight to the point.
5. Not doing your research
Do a bit of research on the company you’re applying to. You don’t want the interviewer finding out that you don’t know anything about their company. Find out about their history and goals. It’s also highly recommended that you prepare a question for them. This question doesn’t necessarily have to be about the job you’re applying to.
6. Failing to maintain eye contact
Eye contact projects confidence and strength, two very important things that employers look for in applicants. If you can’t maintain eye contact, an easy way to get around this is instead by looking at the bridge of your interviewer’s nose (they won’t be able to tell the difference).
7. Giving a weak handshake
First impressions are very important. Always give strong, firm handshakes in all your interviews. A good handshake projects strength and confidence, two attributes that employers are always looking for. Otherwise, you’re coming off as someone who’s frail and not very confident.
Avoid all of these mistakes and you’re guaranteed to improve your chances in landing the jobs you’re applying to. Remember to always be conversational, confident, and interested. Dress appropriately for the job and keep overly negative remarks about your previous employer to yourself.
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