Avoiding 10 Deadly Interview Mistakes


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Too many job seekers set themselves up for failure before the interview ever takes place. They fail to target their audience, demonstrate relevant skills and experience, or present themselves in a way that grabs the attention of potential employers. Plan for success and avoid these ten deadly interview mistakes.

1. Interviewing before you have a handle on your emotions. Get a handle on your emotions before you interview. Find a way to get past negative emotions –fear, worry, anger, and embarrassment—because they erode self-confidence. And an employer can spot them a mile away!

2. Failing to research the company before the interview. Do your research and find out everything you can about the company and the interviewer before the interview. You can be sure your competition will!

3. Not knowing what you have to offer or how to offer it. Determine what you have to offer and how best to present it to potential employers. Don’t leave it to them to guess what you can do – they might guess wrong!

4. Worrying about your agenda instead of the employer’s needs. Focus on the employer’s needs and demonstrate how you can solve his or her problem.

5. Failing to take the initiative in selling your service. Use every opportunity to let potential employers know what you have to offer. Don’t wait for them to ask.

6. Not relating skills and experience to the employer’s needs. Relate your skills and experience to the employer’s needs. Make it absolutely clear how your skills match their requirements. Speak their language.

7. Making negative comments about past employers or co-workers. Find ways to compliment past employers and co-workers. They must have done something well, after all they hired you, didn’t they?

8. Offering hypothetical suggestions rather than real world solutions. Prepare at least five real world examples of how you solved a problem in a previous job. Don’t be shy about relating these solutions to the potential employer when asked about skills, abilities, job responsibilities, or accomplishments.

9. Discussing salary before you understand the job requirements. Postpone salary discussions until you fully understand the job responsibilities and the interviewer has offered you the position.

10. Asking “What’s In It For Me” Questions about salary and benefits. Ask questions that demonstrate your interest in the company and the position-questions that probe for information about how you can help them.

Mary Jeanne Vincent is the author of Acing the Interview tip cards featuring answers to the top 20 “killer” interview questions. Also included are tips for interviewing in the new economy, ideas for responding to illegal and trick questions, and suggestions for avoiding 10 deadly interview mistakes.

Go to http://www.2bworkwise.com for free job search articles and to sign up for the free WorkWise e-zine. For information on individual job and career coaching or to find out about other practical, easy-to-use career tools call Mary Jeanne at 831.657.9151.


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