So you applied for a job? Let’s set this straight: your educational background is impressive, your previous work experiences are in line with the job at hand, and your skills are just spot on. Resume-wise, you’re confident that you’re one step ahead of the other candidates and you’ll get the job.
The bad news is, you didn’t. The call you received from the HR services confirmed that your application was rejected. You’re now left with one question: why?
Before you move on with your career path, go back to the day you were interviewed and try to determine where you messed up. You might have committed one or more of the following common job interview mistakes:
1. You arrived later than expected
Here’s a basic mode of conduct: respect other people’s time. There are two things that could happen when you arrive late: either your interview is cut short or you disrupt the schedules of several interviewers. Either way, being late would make a bad impression before you even arrive.
On the flip side, showing up way earlier than your scheduled appointment can also irritate hiring managers. Just to be safe, arrive 10 minutes earlier than your job interview.
2. You brought a drink with you
We’re not talking about alcohol – even a bottle of water, juice, or a cup of iced coffee you bought to perk you up, shouldn’t be brought inside the room. Your drink can create a number of opportunities for disasters: you can distract your interviewer or spill the drink on the desk, on you, or even your interviewer.
3. You’re not dressed appropriately
How you present yourself is equally important as the data you put in your resume – and that includes your attire.
It’s imperative to look polished and professional. Make sure your clothes are not wrinkled, stained, ill-fitting, and attention-grabbing (in a bad way). Groom yourself in front of the mirror before showing up.
4. You didn’t prepare (and it’s obvious)
Aside from your clothing, there are many other ways to send the notion you lack preparation:
- You don’t have a basic knowledge of the role you’re applying for
- You can’t provide clear examples of your past performance.
- Not being able to articulate responses
- Displaying low energy (lack of eye contact slowness, slouched sitting position)
You want to create the impression that you care about the interview process and you want to put your best foot forward.
5. You didn’t research the company background
The question, “what do you know about this company” is the easiest question to ace – if you did your homework. You can easily find the company’s background information on the company website, Facebook, and LinkedIn page. Make sure to review it ahead of time.
6. You weren’t prepared enough in answering behavioral questions
You’re not alone – behavioral questions are truly the hardest ones to answer. They are used to get inside your head, find out your “soft skills” and determine how you handle different, difficult situations.
Don’t get caught off guard. Research the most commonly asked behavioral questions and prepare for them. When the daunting question has been asked, answer them truthfully, briefly, and positively.
7. You zoned out during the interview
Maybe it’s due to nervousness. Maybe it’s a lack of sleep. Maybe you skipped your breakfast. Whatever that is, getting distracted or apologetically asking to repeat the question (then answering it poorly) can lead to blunders that hurt your chance of getting the job.
8. You were too wordy
For an interviewer, nothing feels worse than having to interview someone who just talks non-stop. Be mindful when you’re talking too much, especially about yourself. Keep your answers concise, straight to the point, and professional. The HR person doesn’t need (or want) to hear your life story, or how vast your vocabulary is.
9. You badmouthed your past company
No matter how much of a hell your past working experience was, never ever badmouth your previous boss, coworkers, and the company in front of your prospective employer. Instead, give emphasis on how you’re able to work well with other people and handle conflicts in a mature, professional, and effective way.
10. You were aggressive with your hiring manager
You might’ve asked weirdly personal questions, like your interviewer’s family background or how satisfying her life is as an HR. You may have asked abruptly about the benefits you’ll get. Or you may have followed up too aggressively by sending multiple emails or making unsolicited calls. These are just some of the things you should never tell the HR dept.
Take note of these mistakes and make sure you don’t commit them again in your next career moves.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a creative writer for HR Dept Australia, a provider of affordable and pragmatic HR solutions and employment law advice in Australia. Writing about helpful career management solutions for both employees and employers is her cup of tea.