Mistakes Made In An Interview – Can Cost You A Job Offer

July 11, 2013 |

That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview. Three areas of performance, that  should be considered dangerous and deadly:

1.Poor non-verbal communication image

  •  Show confidence by believing in yourself and showing it. (head held high – shoulders back)
  • Good eye contact is essential. (Note the color of the interviewer’s eyes.)
  • Connect with a good, firm handshake. (No limp noodles or bone crushers wanted)
  • Posture is a key indicator of confidence. Sit and stand erect. (Slumping = lazy attitude.)

2. Poor verbal communication skills

  • Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what they said.  (“Sounds like…”
  • Observe your interviewer’s style and pace  –  match that style and  pace.
  • Use appropriate language. (Beware of using slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics, or sexual preferences) No, “You guys…”
  • Telling the interviewer more than they need to know could be a fatal mistake. (Too much information – particularly personal information – could get into some areas that are best not discussed in an interview.)

3. Not asking questions – big mistake.

  • When asked, “Do you have any questions?” if you answer “No,”  –  WRONG answer!
  • Asking questions gives you the opportunity to show your interest. (The best questions come from listening to what is said and asked during the interview. Ask for additional information.)
  • Asking questions gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. (Your chance to find out what goes on in the company.)

What’s the best way to know whether you are breaking any of these rules – get feedback.  It’s important that the feedback be straight-forward and honest. Otherwise, you will keep making the same mistakes.

Give yourself every advantage by preparing and practicing before the interview. Be aware of your verbal and non-verbal performance and the messages you are sending. It could make the difference between a job offer or not.

For more information: www.interviewcoach.com/blog

About Carole Martin

The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. A contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio, Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. Learn more about her Federal Agency Interview Coaching and Coaching for Business Interviews at www.interviewcoach.com.
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  1. Former Medic says:

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  2. Ron says:

    #1 tell me about your self?
    #2 why should we hire you?

    • Jeffrey Dorfman says:

      Staple questions they almost always ask, or at least, they should. Be prepared with good answers to these and more.

    • Kathy says:

      So true! As if there is a common book, "Interviewing 101". Not only are your answers important but so is the way you phrase them. #1 is not asking for personal information such as marital status (those questions are not legal), but rather your professional, public self. #2 …think "What will you bring to our company that will further our cause and we don't already have?" This is the question that shows whether you have done your homework or not.

  3. Kathy says:

    It is sometimes difficult to ask questions of the interviewer, so two that might open the conversation are:
    "Why did this job become available?" and "What is the turn-over rate with this company?"
    These are straight forward questions relating to the environment into which you are considering investing your life.

    • Redtailedhawk says:

      And another question would be, Tell me why you have asked me to this interview? What qualifications do you see in me that makes you think I am the one for the job ? Those throw the interviewers for a loop. They have to stop and rethink their pointed one-sided process before they can answer.

      • redtailedhawk says:

        Moreover, many interviewers think the process is simply a way to get away from their jobs for a time, with free "vacation" time, free motel, and free eats.