Job interviews are stressful enough: there are a million things to think about, like putting your best foot forward and selling yourself as the best person for the job without sounding too confident.
But sometimes, it’s about what you don’t do rather than what you do, and they make for some of the potentially worst job interview sins you could commit.
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Yahoo Finance spoke to some job recruitment firms and experts to uncover what some of the most common mistakes candidates make are:
Failing to prepare
Both Indeed’s head of career insights Jay Munro and recruitment firm Robert Half director Nicole Gorton agreed that the failure to prepare for your interview will put your chances of scoring the job in jeopardy.
According to Munro, preparation is one of the most time-intensive parts of the job application process.
“But often candidates don't consider all the different aspects that they can and/or need to prepare for,” he told Yahoo Finance.
Adequate preparation can be broken down into two categories: self and company.
Preparing to talk about yourself includes forming short, snappy descriptions of your career history and motivations, skills and strengths, whereas preparing to talk about the company looks like doing your research about the industry, building knowledge about the company and their services/products, their stakeholders and the job opportunity itself.
“A well-prepared candidate is often more confident, performs well in interview, and is memorable to the recruiter,” Munro said.
Gorton said it was a grave mistake for the candidate to answer ‘no’ when the recruiter asked if they had any questions – and, in fact, you’re losing a golden opportunity.
“[It’s] a very common mistake which can suggest that you’re not prepared, haven’t researched the company, or are not interested enough in the role,” she said.
“Not only does asking questions help you to gain a better understanding of the company, and whether the opportunity is a good fit for you, but preparing questions is also a strategic device to set you apart from other candidates by demonstrating your interest in the position and the company.”
Being too confident
On the other end of the spectrum, while it’s important to be prepared, don’t run the risk of being too sure of yourself either.
“Employers love confident candidates, but overconfidence could be costing you the job,” said a Seek spokesperson.
Make sure you’re getting the level of confidence just right whether you’re going for a junior or a senior role.
“Saying you can do something with no explanation is cocky, and talking non-stop about yourself can seem arrogant. Instead, having the humility to admit what you know and don’t know makes you look confident, self-aware and ready for the right role.”
So, the next time you head for a job interview, keep these in mind: recruiters see these mistakes all too often.
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