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Congratulations! You have finally landed a job interview with one of the top companies on your target list.That's exciting, now don't screw it up.
Don't ever fool yourself into thinking that interview mistakes are just for the inexperienced, early-in-career job candidates.
We know that first impressions count, so how about making your first impression stand out on your next job interview?
1) Giving long-winded, rambling answers
This is one area I warn my clients about over and over again. Listen carefully to the question, focus on about 3 key points in your answer and then stop talking. Avoid getting nervous just because there is silence or little response from the interviewer(s).
2) Criticizing your current or former employer
Regardless of how negative or disappointing your career experience is or has been with an employer, be diligent about giving the interviewer highlights of your work, career achievements and contributions.
3) Providing generic responses without real substance
Saying to an interviewer, "I am a great leader who gets the job done" or "I am known for being a good team player" is like saying nothing at all. Practice giving answers that give specific examples or point to supporting evidence about your strengths and areas of expertise; incorporating the C-A-R strategy can make a huge difference.
4) Knowing very little about a prospective employer
We have so much access to information today, so you have no excuse for being unprepared in an interview. Check out the company's website and annual reports, search prweb.com for recent press releases and use Google alerts to learn about any recent company changes. Leverage your LinkedIn contacts to learn any insider tips that may prove valuable in the interview.
5) Failing to ask quality questions during the interview
Too many job-seekers focus on impressing the interviewer, but overlook the fact that the prospective employer should impress you as well. Think carefully about what you need to know before making a final decision if an offer is extended to you.
They are interviewing you and you are interviewing them. Here are a few easy questions to start with and feel free to come up with a few of your own:
-- Who will I be reporting to directly?
-- Are there growth opportunities through this position?
-- How many people have held this position in the past year?
-- What are the business challenges that your company/division is currently facing?
When I am conducting interview coaching with my clients, I often get the "canned", predictable interview answers. Nothing is wrong with following interviewing guidelines, but remember to bring YOU to the interview.
Respond to questions in your own voice, let your personality shine through, smile and be yourself.
7) Being unenthusiastic and lethargic in the interview
Whether you have been interviewing for several months or this is the first fruit of your job search efforts, check your disappointment, disillusion and fear at the door and bring you best foot forward.
More likely than not, you will go on a series of interviews and go through a lot of "no's" before you get a job offer. However, be energetic, excited, enthusiastic and optimistic as much as you can each and every time.
I know that this is not an easy task, so what strategies do you use to stay motivated and positive during interview after interview?