blow a job interview

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It is interesting what people think is okay to do in a job interview, and really isn’t.  Something that seems so obvious to people in the recruiting world, isn’t always obvious to the new job hunter.  Take these suggestions to heart and don’t blow a job interview!

Not Doing Your Homework

You must research the company, the people you will be talking to and have an in-depth understanding of the job description.  The availability of the internet means all the information you need is at your fingertips, you just have to do it!  Most company’s websites offer the latest press releases about their firm.  This is a great source to understand what is “hot” or not at this firm, and to formulate some questions around topics the company will find the most relevant.  Forgetting the job title or requirements is not acceptable.  Review the job description and your strengths and weaknesses against what is preferred.

Not Practicing

Take this blog and practice answers to the most common interview questions.  Yes, you may not get asked a standard question, but preparing answers to the standard questions will prepare you for questions just a little bit different than the standard ones.  It will also make you more articulate and avoid “ums, likes, literally, and more ums.”  You want to shine on difficult questions and preparation will make that happen.

Vagueness

Fuzzy resume facts, vague answers to questions, a lack of knowledge about the company or the job will blow a job interview for you.  Be honest.  Be upfront.  Prepare answers for parts of your background that weren’t your best moment.  Everyone has ups and downs in their career and avoiding the question leads to assumptions that may be worse than the actual problem.

Slobbiness

This includes arriving late or cancelling at the last minute as well as poor personal grooming.  In these days of hoodies and jeans at the office, overdress for your interview.  Ignoring the importance of body language can also be considered a slobby approach.  Who will get the job?  The candidate who sits up straight and leans into the interview or the candidate who slouches and relaxes against the back of the chair, even crossing his legs heel to opposite knee?

Talking Too Much

Dominating the interview isn’t a sign of success.  Every interview should feel more like a conversation than a question and answer session.  When you talk too much you often say things you shouldn’t – badmouthing prior employers, saying what you think without filter or even starting to stretch the truth.  All major no-nos.

Too Familiar

Even if you really click with the people you interview with, they are not your friends, they are your potential employers.  Keep the conversation professional.  A lack of awareness about the formality of this relationship could indicate a lack of professionalism or just simple immaturity.

Not Nice

A lack of courtesy to the security guard checking you in, or the HR admin getting you coffee will be communicated to the decision makers.  A lack of self-awareness or self-aggrandizing will lose you the job as well.  Checking the clock or your phone while someone is talking is Insult 101.  Leave the phone at home or in your car and ENGAGE!

Not Following-up

The last way to blow a job interview, is probably the most critical. Try to discuss next steps at the end of the interview. If you fail to get anything concrete, email or call back in a couple of days.  Always, always send a thank you.  Here are some thank you note tips.

Interested in staring a job hunt?  Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Executive Recruiter and Pharmaceutical Sales Practice Lead, Nancy Ragonese, [email protected].


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