The Ten Interview Mistakes That Keep You From Getting That Job

If you have had interviews, but haven’t received a good offer yet, you are probably making one or more of these deadly interviewing errors.

1). Assuming you’re a good interviewee. You’re not. And why should you be? You don’t interview for a living. You do your job.

But the people we see tank on our toughest interview training module, “The Murder Board,” tank because they’re conceited and cocky. They think they’ll do great. They think that the “get it.” They don’t. So, this is why we call it a “Murder Board,” not an “Assault Board.” They get killed by the Killer Questions.

2). Not preparing for the interview. Frankly speaking: If you go up against a Heckers Development Group,LTD client or the client of another top career coach — all other things being equal — you’ll lose out. Why? Transition coaches teach people to avoid putting their big feet in their big mouths at interviews, and to avoid most other mistakes. If you don’t have a transition coach/interviewing coach yet, get one now. Be prepared to interview at your best.

3). Talking too much. More people talk themselves out of jobs than talk themselves into jobs. Shut up! If you’re an extrovert, this means cutting the bovine effluvium that you’re dishing out by 50% – 75%. The latter figure is for sales people. You can’t convince someone to hire you. The more you say, the better the chance that you’ll say something stupid. Don’t.

4). Talking too little. Then there are the introverts among us. Grunting an answer is not the way to go, either. Answer the question! Open your mouth and put it on external speaker. No, they can’t read your mind and no, they don’t just know that you’re a wonderful person.

5). Being evasive. Answer the question. Don’t sound like a stupid politician. You know how they sound, don’t you? No matter what question is asked them, they revert to their talking points. They never truly answer a question honestly. Now, politicians are crooks, generally speaking. But you’re not. So answer the questions!

6). Waxing philosophical. If you’re asked to give an example, give an example. Don’t wax philosophical about your beliefs. This just turns employers off.

7). Making a strength into a weakness. There are ways to answer the weakness question that don’t have you B.S.ing by making a strength into a weakness. I’ve got news for you. Employers are on to that garbage, and will mark you down dramatically for using it. We go into this extensively in our book Interview to Get That Job. As this is a very complicated technique, there is not space here to lay it out. But don’t get caught making a strength into a weakness.

8). Exaggerating your credentials. Don’t.

9). Getting overly familiar with the interviewer. One employer I know called me laughing uproariously after an interview she had. The interviewee had asked her out! He didn’t get the job, but did get her…they were married about 2 years later. But usually these things end in absolute disaster. Remember why you’re there and save any friendships or more intimate relationships until after you find out if you got employed. Then, proceed with caution.

10). Blowing the phone interview. The phone interview can be your most important interview. If you blow it there, you won’t go any further. An H.R. Director who is a friend of mine (yes, some of them still speak to me) called laughing her behind off right after a phone screen. The candidate was doing pretty well until the end. Then she heard some grunts and pops, followed by the flushing of a toilet! He didn’t get the job, as this showed very poor judgment. Remember that a phone interview is an interview. Handle it accordingly!

2 Responses to The Ten Interview Mistakes That Keep You From Getting That Job
  1. Jim Ramsey
    September 5, 2012 | 1:46 pm

    Our son is a recent graduate of CU’s Leeds School of Business, but seems to be lost in the most effective way to market himself. He has an Information Management degree. I am seeking someone that can help him with the interview process, to sharpen his resume, to help him gain confidence in himself, and to gain an understanding of the psychology of managers when considering new applicants. Is this something that you can help with?

    • John Heckers
      October 14, 2012 | 8:24 am

      As always you are welcome to call me at 720.581.4301.

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