Michael Polovick retired VP of Human Resources for The Smithers Group has more than 30 years of hiring and HR leadership experience. With both privately held organizations and publicity traded Fortune 500 companies, you could say he has seen it all. Here are Mike’s top 10 interviewing blunders.
1.Fail to do the Research
When preparing for an interview, some often forget to research the company they are applying. Research topics such as what is the company doing, who is conducting the interview and its competitors. Knowing the current status of the company can allow you to craft educated answers to their questions ahead of time while using examples from competitors. Also, knowing who is conducting the interview can give you time to prepare for small talk which shows your personal side. If you feel that you don’t have enough information to prepare for their questions there are over 1.2 billion interview question sites on Google alone.
2. Failing to Connect
Connecting with the interviewer can increase your chances significantly. Make eye contact, smile, and dress for success. These may seem like the typical tips but you would be surprised by how many people fail to show they’re more than a work machine. Also, don’t forget to conduct some small talk, look around the room for pictures of family, sports memorabilia, or awards. All of these are great small talking points that will make a personal connection with the interviewer.
3. Talk too Much
Mike refers to this blunder as eating the apple in one bite. The objective of the interview is for the employer to ask questions and decide if you are the right fit for the position. Answer questions to the fullest extent and try not to get off topic with a story.
4. Not Answering the Question
This blunder is going to take practice. When preparing for an interview have your answers rehearsed by saying them out loud or writing them down. You could answer a question without actually answering it. Try your best not to dance around the item.
5. Not talking about your experience
Employers want to know about your experience with your previous jobs. What projects you worked on, how you work with others, and what challenges you overcame. This blunder is all about how you word your answers. The difference between “I” and “we” can either make you look like a team player or leader. Both are not necessarily bad but a balance between the two will help you exemplify your teamwork and leadership skills.
6. Thinking it’s all about you
Remember the JFK quote “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. Now replace “country” with “company”. Ask yourself what you can do for the company that makes you a valuable asset.
7. What you would do vs. what you did
Interviewers will ask you situational questions to see what actions you would take in the position. Answer these questions by giving answers filled with examples of similar situations you faced and how you handled them.
8.No sign of interest
Expressing interest in the position will show your desire to work. Following up with a thank you email to your interviewers will increase the personal connection. Another way to express interest is to ask questions such as “why is the position open” and “what are the next steps.”
9. Failing to follow up
Like I said earlier, following up in a timely matter will increase your chances. Perhaps include something from the interview that will make them remember you. Mike said that he has received thank you emails before the candidate even left the parking lot.
10. Badmouthing employer/dishonesty
This is by far the worst thing you can do in an interview and will destroy any chances of getting the job. If you are asked why you were let go, answer in the most professional way possible. Answers like “it wasn’t a good fit” or “I saw a different path” is acceptable. Last but not least, dishonesty will bring you nothing but unemployment. If you continuously lie through interviews your nose is going to poke the interviewer in the eye. Honesty is the best policy!
Please come to our Next Hudson Job Search Meeting!
Hudson Job Search will present Exposing the Hidden Job Market by Abby Kohut on August 5th @ 7:15-9:00 pm at Christ Church Episcopal, 21 Aurora St. Hudson, OH. Abby’s topic will discuss the most effective ways to get employed…and what recruiters know and won’t tell candidates.
All our events are free of charge and open to anyone who lives and works in the greater NEO area, whether you currently have a job or not. No need to register in advance, but seating is limited to approximately 40 individuals. Please dress business casual.
Michael McClafferty is an intern with Mulligan Management Group.