These interview mistakes are more costly than you think.
You rattled off your elevator pitch, answered questions without missing a beat, and left the interview feeling like it all went according to plan. But when the phone rings days later with the news you were definitely not hoping to hear, it's not just discouraging — it's also a shock. So what happened?
If you've ever been caught off guard by a rejection following a seemingly successful interview, you're not alone. The fact is, there are a number interview blunders that you may not even notice you're making — and they can be total deal-breakers. Read on to find out what the culprit could be, and what to keep in mind to avoid them.
Showing poor body language
You may be saying all the right words in your interview, but if your body language says differently, you won't give off the right impression. Actions like crossing your arms, slouching, giving a weak handshake, and avoiding eye contact can all convey a myriad of unattractive qualities, ranging from insecurity to disinterest to flat out rudeness. We believe you when you say you don't mean to come across that way, but unfortunately, body language speaks volumes ... and hiring managers are listening.
Because it's hard to identify our own physical habits (they are habits, after all), fixing this problem effectively requires an outside eye. Professional interview coaches, for example, have an expert understanding of body language — they can read the signs you don't know you're sending and guide you on how to stay aware of them and make the appropriate changes. That way, you can ensure your body is telling the right story.
Giving textbook answers
With all the interview advice out there, it's not hard to discern what a “good” answer is to a common interview question. However, there is a difference between a good answer and your good answer. Using the cookie-cutter responses you see on a Google results page may keep you from making egregious errors, but it won't help you impress.
Remember that your interview is more than just a Q&A — it's a conversation to see if you, a unique individual, are right for this unique company's specific opening. Each of your interview responses should say something about you. That's how you'll show the interviewer that you're not just a good candidate, but you're also the right candidate.
Missing opportunities to sell yourself
Speaking of specifics, it's not uncommon for candidates to accidentally let golden opportunities pass them by. Certain common interview questions, like requests to explain your interest in the job or describe your greatest strengths, are practically invitations for you to make your mark. The way to take advantage of these opportunities is by focusing your answers on the specifics.
Effective interview preparation involves determining your best selling points, practicing how to present them, and learning to identify the possible opportunities you will be granted to share them. All of these things require a deep understanding of the interview process and its expectations, and because of the potential benefits, it's an area where the guidance of a professional coach is invaluable.
These silent killers can mean the end of your candidacy if you aren't aware of them. Thankfully, there are experts who are trained to help you identify these mistakes and correct them — before it's too late. Learn more about working with a TopInterview professional interview coach. Their guidance will steer you away from these deal-breaking blunders and towards your next job offer.