The next time you leave the house for an interview, be nice to everybody – from the receptionist to the company president.
For quite some time now, hiring managers have been enlisting people outside the traditional hiring process to assess folks who come in for an interview. There are even stories of hiring managers going ‘undercover’ – including posing as the driver of the company car that picks up interviewees from the airport.
So yes, you should be nice to the receptionist because he or she may give their impression of you to the hiring manager. But there also the possibility that the “receptionist” is the hiring manager.
To be fair, it’s common knowledge to avoid being rude to staff at a potential employer, but this is a mistake that even the smartest applicants make where they’re not on their game. Below is a list of other common interview blunders that can trip up the best of us.
Being Too Casual
Being likable is essential to a successful interview; it is important to be friendly with your interviewer. Try to build rapport, identify any common ground, and make your exchanges conversational, not robotic.
In an effort to be likable, some applicants go overboard. If you are adding jokes to everything you say, spilling industry gossip or talking like you’re both out to a happy hour, you’re probably getting too casual.
Being Too Eager
If you’ve ever been on a date with someone who laughs at all your bad jokes and keeps telling you how good you look, you know that seeming too eager can be a real turn off.
The same thing applies in business. Candidates that seem overly eager for an open position can appear desperate and unworthy of the job.
A good approach is to convey passion for the line of work and discuss how the job opportunity in front of you will help you pursue your passion – to the benefit of the company.
Assuming Your Appeal Is Obvious
Hopefully, you’ve worked hard to earn your degree, learn valuable skills, and gain crucial experience. If you’ve paid your dues, it can be tempting to let your achievements speak for themselves. However, when you don’t vocally advocate for yourself, you give up some control of the conversation to your interviewer, who can take the conversation places weren’t prepared for. Moreover, even if the interviewer understands the specifics of your past achievements and job duties, they won’t know the specifics of your own experience.
Even though you might think you don’t have to do it, you should still spell out your abilities, experience level, and achievements. Do not assume the interviewer will get the impression you want them to get.
Skipping the Follow-Up
Always follow-up. Even if you don’t get the job, another job with the company might be right behind it. Even if you aren’t contacted again by the same employer, you never know if the hiring manager will move on to a different company, one that happens to receive your application.
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