040 Nine Mistakes to Avoid When Interviewing

You work so hard to get the interview, why botch it? Take some time to learn the pitfalls to avoid so you dominate the interview with offers. Join Scott and Andrew as we share the top mistakes.

9 Mistakes To Avoid When Interviewing

  1. Not Doing Any Research on the Company and Position
  2. Not Preparing for the Common Interview Questions
  3. Assuming you are “Good Enough”
  4. Not Having Any Questions to Ask the Hiring Team
  5. Not Knowing Anyone Inside
  6. Forgetting To Follow-Up
  7. Lack of Self-Awareness related to Skills-Employer Match
  8. Relying Too Heavily on Nervousness
  9. Not Checking your Appearance

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00:00:00 – 00:05:01

Aw. Welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew, and I’m Scott this production is meant to provide you meaningful support defiant. Great careers faster. Whether you’re working or not today seekers radio we cover the nine mistakes to avoid when you’re interviewing now, this is a favorite topic for us. We talk to people all the time about interviewing skills. There are classes probably every economic of every employment development office in the country. There are many resources to end yet. We find that. It is probably a hidden talent market for those who truly interview. Well, and I’m not talking about those who quote interview. Well, and then turn out to be something else. Once they get on the job were just talking about having a good interviewing conversation. So the first mistake to avoid actually is not doing any research on the company or the people you. You’re about to meet, right? I can’t tell you. How many people have come in? When I’ve been interviewing to hire. They come in thinking that their skills will speak for themselves. And they haven’t done the research, I pick up on it right away. And most people do I’m not I’m not special here. Wait a minute. It’s got to read my resume yet. Probably did which is why you’re here today. But if you haven’t shown enough interest in my company to actually know what to talk about it’s gonna show right away. And that can be a very quick disqualifier. And it’s a small investment of your time to overlook this is just nonsensical. Right. Just doesn’t make any sense. We have the internet his days and most companies have an internet presence. Now. Maybe they’re not really good. If you’re with a small company, maybe they haven’t done something that that is really friendly on your phone, but they still probably have a website. You can find out something about them. Just doing. Google search class horror glass to work series. I be so surprised if there wasn’t a whole bunch of stuff on glass door that you can learn about that company right now, it is a simple mistake that simply should not happen. And in full disclosure, I’ve done that. And I realized once I walk in. I don’t have enough information. And I can’t blame them when they don’t call me back because I didn’t show enough caring to do that research. There’s no excuse. I mean, whatever the motivation is it could be that. You don’t want the position, but they invited you for an interview anyway. Yeah. Still just because now my professional credibility is on the line. Of course, we’ll get to excuses in a moment. But the next mistake to avoid is not prepared for the standard questions that you know, everybody’s going to ask right? I would say nine interviews out of ten have five or six very basic questions things like tell me about yourself. What should we know about you that really doesn’t have a? Well, it has many meanings or purposes as it does people who ask they want the conversation to start. They want to know a little bit about you. And they want to know why they should listen to you beyond the your answer be prepared with something. They wanna know that you’ve done your homework, and that that you’ve probably practice something before you got there, and they’re not practicing these questions. So the thing is you can practice your answers over and over again, and they’ll get different answers from every applicant the more prepared. You are the better off you’re gonna sound and the more you can impress them. If impressing them as what you’re going and just saying, yeah, I can do that. That is not an answer to question the standard questions are trying to find out about what is your thinking process. How do you speak to people? Have you done your homework both about the company and about the job, if you know something about me on a professional level as if my reputation has preceded me that will make me feel good as. As well. But that’s going to take some effort on your part. So you want to be able to answer these questions in ways that actually resonate with them? And the chances are pretty good that if you can find out about their company values, you’ll figure out a way to answer them to respond to those values. That’s right. That brings us to the third mistake to avoid which is assuming you’re good enough. And this comes from a mindset of superiority, right? And we’re not talking about. Oh, I’m good enough. And I’m smart enough, and I can make people happy. You know? I’m not Stuart Smalley it. We’re talking about that lack of effort that goes into. Oh, I’ve done so many interviews. I can wing it and be fine. The chances are pretty good that you may not do as well as you think. And it’s not likely that you’re gonna make it to the Super Bowl just winging it right? Just say, oh, I’m good enough. Those teams never make it to the Super Bowl right seriously. It takes practice. It takes experience. The more interviews you go on the better.


00:05:01 – 00:10:01

You get at it. But it’s not just because you’ve been on a lot. It’s because you’ve been making the effort. I tell you when I was a performer in my youth. I could remember what my my vocal coach was telling me. So when I was singing, I could do it again. And finally when I was in college, I had a vocal coach who could tell when I had practiced. And she nailed me on this. I was shamed of myself. But finally, somebody said no, you don’t get away with this. The same thing is true in interviewing if you’re not really making the effort to improve you’re not going to improve and people are going to know it. It’s not like you can hide it. You may think you’re good enough. But when you go in and you give it a male in performance, they’re going to say, thanks, but no, thanks. And you’re gonna wonder huff wonder why they didn’t pick me and you hit it right there. We’re not talking about nervousness. Although we’ll talk about that in a second. Everybody gets nervous before these things, and that’s to be expected, and it’s forgiven. This is more the idea that when you haven’t done your part. It becomes obvious. You’re phoning it in if you’re phoning it in your probably gonna phone it in on the job. Don’t think I’m going to hire. But it’s going to translate near non verbals, right? You’ll be disinterested. You won’t be looking people in the eye. Right. It’s just not good prepare like it’s a Super Bowl. Right. Really? Every not interested in that position. You really aren’t if you’re going to walk in and it’s obvious you’re disinterested. Now, you’re wasting their time. I had one person years ago suggest that going into an interview for which you don’t, you know, you don’t want the job you just want practice. That’s theft. You’re stealing time that they can’t get back. Don’t do it. It’s just not respectful. I agree with that one hundred percent. So that brings us to the next mistake to avoid in. That’s not having any questions prepared to ask the hiring team. And this is something that is so easy to do. And there’s gotta be something you want to know about them the company the position of the environment. Whatever. Be. There’s gotta be something you want to know or have an answer to. And if you need advice on what kinds of questions to right. There are going to be a lot of people out there who can help you the ones that come to my mind. I are can you tell me what a Dan the life of this position looks like that is an open ended question that elicits of thoughtful response. They may not be prepared for that. So it may take a minute think about it. And they’re probably going to be more honest about it as a result. It’s questions like that. What does this? What does success look like for this role? How would you describe the person who left this position and what they did? Well, and what you’d like to see them do differently? These are all things that make them understand that you’ve thought about this. That’s the message you want to send. So having those questions they’re written down demonstrates professionalism. Right that you’re prepared for that. And when they ask you have something to give them I can’t tell you how many times people get to the end of the. View even though they may be wrote down some questions they didn’t write down enough because they got all their questions answered. And he’s still like the thing is that you are interviewing the company it’s really important that you prepared to interview them as well, one of the nicest things somebody said to me was when they said, oh, well, it feels like you’re interviewing me, it’s a price me when she said that. But I told her I am I am because this has got to be a win win all fit. Yeah. It’s all about the fit that brings us to the next mistake to avoid not knowing anyone on the inside or having a lack of internal champion. There are a lot of times. We’ll see jobs posted at companies that we’ve been interested in. But we haven’t been able to network our way into the organization that’s not completely avoidable. With that said there are ways for us to find people with similar backgrounds or similar education, and we can find this on Lincoln. There’s usually some commonality somewhere. One person or two people that we know that have a connection somehow work that as best you can try and get some kind of commonality established before you walk into an interview before you even apply, right? Would be even better this the farther up the chain of influence that you can go before there’s a post a position doesn’t make it feel like you’re doing it for various circuits shore Reiter, or that your self interested. And this comes back to the research. Hopefully, anyone listening to this podcast is going to know that the ideas that we champion is to do your research to look into companies that interest you for whatever reason. No, what that reason is do research. Find out the people who work there, the people that you know, who know people who work there two jobs values that they have the things that they do both professionally and what they do for their community. All of this is a way to find ways to network into the organization, and you’re a distinct advantage when you.


00:10:01 – 00:15:01

Do that well in advance of any posted position? So that leads us to our next mistake when interviewing you want to avoid forgetting to follow up. If you haven’t sent a thank you note after an interview shame on you. If you have any kind of networking opportunity with someone in or adjacent to the organization follow up with that person. Whether they have introduced you to somebody else follow up include them in the follow up with the person introduce you to if there’s any questions that have been unanswered follow up with the answer. Because that shows that once you’re in the job, you’ll probably follow up then to and that’s going to be a keystone to their experience with you. And it’s going to differentiate you so many people. I mean, if you’re not doing it, guess what? Most of the other people are doing it either. Make sure that I I’m kind of old school this way. I write a handwritten. Thank you know. In addition to an Email, and then I am very clear about. The next step. I might be wrong about the next step. But if they don’t give me a next up I’m going to tell them what it is. Maybe I’m just proactive that way. Right. I feel like the next step is the conversation with the VP or put just putting together the offer doing a background check checking references, whatever that is give them something. I agree. I think we’re talking about differentiating ourselves having a handwritten note is a really good way to do it. One best practice that. I encourage people to use is to have those. Thank you notes and in the envelope. Obviously not written out yet in the envelope in the portfolio, you take in with your written questions. Because at when the interview is finished, I can go into that company lobby or maybe I go out to the car, but preferably in the building. I’m going to write that. Thank you right now. I will reference the things that I talked about in the interview thank them again. And then before I leave the building give that to the person at the fr. Front desk to say will you please forward this to so? And so if I haven’t had the sense to get their business card, at least, I should remember their first name, the receptionist is going to know who you just visited if they have a receptionist. Here’s your opportunity to knock it out of the park. But you have to plan ahead. Take it with you. It doesn’t take that much face now four or five pre written cards with an address or on it. It doesn’t it takes two minutes. But it will set you apart from the the all the other applicants who haven’t done that and is virtually immediate that can be impressive to a lot of people that don’t get physical mail anymore. Follow up is the most important step without a doubt that brings us to the next mistake to avoid in. That is a lack of self awareness of your transferable skills, meaning becoming the solution to the problem. They want salt and having that kind of a wear -ness of who you are the strengths you bring to the table, and how you can help them is really going to differentiate you from other of applicant and pr-. Previous podcast. We were giving some answers to people questioning, you know, how do I handle a resume that shows job hopping? It’s the confidence that people are going to remember far more than the jobs that you’ve had in your past. So if you know, the skills that you have that you’ve been able to practice and all these other jobs that you’ve had knowing about how it applies to the job. You’re applying for is going to be how they then take it in. Oh, well, this person has transferable skill that would apply in this way. They’re not going to tease that out of you. They want you to know that be prepared with that information walking in. They’re not gonna rely out red carpet for you. You know, you have to know these things about yourself and you have to prepare a response to every potential question. They’re going to ask you about your skills as relates to the company, and that’s a really good point. Let’s say they throw a curve ball at you. Here comes a pinch that you chest warned expecting that question. It’s okay. To think about it. It’s. Going to feel a lot longer of a pause. And it really is give it some thought and give a thoughtful answer as you go. And let’s say you don’t answer the way you want start over they’re going to appreciate that. You are confident enough to send you know. This is not saying what I mean, let me restart this. And it’s that moment of humility that they’re actually going to appreciate because they’ve been there. They know what it’s like to interview. They’re just on the other side of the coin. Now, you’ve got to have that sense of awareness of what you bring to the table the value that you can add to what they’re already doing. When you can articulate that that brings the confidence that you need to help them. Connect the dots. If you don’t know this or you’re not confident on it practice, it that brings us to our next mistake to avoid and that’s relying too heavily on nervousness. I would call this more like excuse Itis is relying on some excuse that you can.


00:15:01 – 00:20:00

Answer a question because oh, gee, I’m nervous. I’m nervous or I’d never had that question before. Or you know, I I was up late last night with my kids, and I didn’t get any sleep. Yeah. You know, whatever it is. Nobody wants an excuse now with that said, there are reasons. Yes, I’m nervous. That’s a reason that I’m not speaking as eloquently as I might otherwise, they know your nervous if you’re not nervous. Maybe there’s something else. That’s wrong, really relying on my excuses. My crutches really makes me look bad. Because if you’re going to do that in the interview, are you going to rely on your excuses in the workplace, this is a disqualifier if you’re nervous, but you’re trying and it’s obvious. You’re trying that speaks well of you. If you come back to awhile, I’m not answering this well because I’m nervous. Okay. Well, how do we help you? If you’re gonna rely on your crutches. I can’t help you. That’s a sign of somebody who’s either not prepared experienced or whatever. And you’re right. It is a disqualifier. But the way you mitigate that is by preparing crazy right for any potential question. Maybe even do in a mock interview with live human being. Yes, I highly recommend practicing you’re interviewing skills with someone who is is either experienced at interviewing as an applicant or someone who’s experienced interviewing other people as a hiring manager or as a recruiter. There are recruiters out there who will be happy to help you by doing this there. You just have to ask avoid excuses. Please always look for solutions. Always overlap your skills to what problem you think you can solve for them. So that brings us to our next mistake to avoid when interviewing and that is not checking your appearance so often we hear from people who complain that. There’s too much importance placed on how I look. Well, there is good reason why most beings whether it’s human or otherwise. Care about the way the other individual looks. There’s the typical friend or foe question. Right. It’s instinctual. So when you see someone who looks like you who or who looks like you want to get to know them, you’re going to build interest on the other side. If you’re not coming up with an appearance that is appropriate to the conversation. You’re going to have that now is taking their attention. Personally, the way I view it is I don’t want anything about my parents to be the first thing we talk about. I don’t even want my parents to come up in the conversation, unless it’s wow, you dress really well that Altay beyond that. I don’t want my appearance to be a part of the conversation at all. So you have to be mindful of what the other person is expecting and then opens the door pretty wide. Well, this is something you can ask the HR person, the scheduling interview, you know, what sort of what’s the? Tire. What is the standard business casual business casual defies that define that for me because business casual it Nike is much different than business casual at Arthur Andersen. Yes, censure, maybe I’m dating myself. But I grew up with the idea that this is casual is the same thing as business only without the tie in some instances business, casual is jeans and sneakers, and maybe a blazer in others. It’s dress pants and dress shoes, but nobly nobler. So find out from the person who is scheduling the interview what the appropriate attire would be if it’s a networking event that takes on a less formal attitude. You can be a little a little more fluid with that. But when it comes to the interview find out what the expectation is and meet it, plus one, I’m always the type to be early for an interview because it gives me a chance to make sure that get to the right place. Right. Check my fly. If you know what I mean? But but going into the. Restroom going to the bathroom if you have to because when you’re nervous, right? Your stuff’s working a little bit faster than it should. So not in common that you have to go the restroom. So you get there early go to the restroom in any check the mirror, and while you are moving through the building you can check the appearance of other people in the office. And I generally when I say meet the expectation plus one that means that I want to be slightly dressed better than I need to be one because there’s an element of self respect. If I respect myself enough that I wanna put my best foot forward that shows. Also, if you give yourself enough time, and you see that you’re coming in the the person’s has business attire. But maybe I brought a tight anyway. And I’m seeing other people who clearly work here. And there in ties I’m gonna put that tie on if on the other side, they say business casual, but I’m gonna wear a tie to impress. And I don’t see another tying in the building. I should probably take my tie off. So that I fit in. Because again, they wanna see me fit.


00:20:00 – 00:22:52

In when they’re there. There’s nothing that says that when you get into the interview room that you can’t take off your blazer and drape it over the back of your chair short of that looks like right, especially if the interviewer does the same thing now, you are Mirroring their behavior, which is a different topic, which I think we’ve touched on another podcast, but that may be a topic that we address in greater detail. But there are ways for you to fit in when it matters. And in the interview it matters. And well, don’t forget your note by that. I mean, you should probably understand what owners presenting to somebody. So I know people that smoke what you might wanna do is make sure that you’re you’re closer dry-cleaned and don’t smoke, but right before the interview and wash your hands if you do smoke, make sure that your your hands are clean. Take a breath mint smell your pits. Whatever it takes whatever. It is. Right. Sure. There’s no odor there because that is part of your appearance and on the other side, please don’t wear a lot of perfume or Cologne. Some people are really sensitive to that. And if it if it’s your lock that someone who reacts really strongly too heavy Cologne is the one doing the interview you can actually end the interview faster and not in a good way by because they can’t acce right? Be if you’re going to wear any fragrance at all make sure it’s light and lightweight brush. Don’t do it. Right. Before you go in there. I generally I do like to wear fragrance, but I put it on the skin under my clothes. So it gets filtered. And there is there are some of them out there that are so strong that they still come on strongly outside the close. So I don’t wear those two interviews. I wear those when I’m going out to special events when I know I’m going to be outside. Yeah. Well, that brings us to the end of this episode the nine mistakes to avoid when interviewing we’ll have show notes available to you their resources there and define them. Go to job seekers radio dot com forward slash zero four zero. We also have a free resource for you is called the anatomy of a network in conversation. It’s an e book that Scott, I have put together to help you implement some of the ideas we’re talking about here. We hope you find value in that. In the meantime, thank you for joining us for this episode of job seekers radio, your investment of time and your attention are truly appreciated head on over to itunes. There’s a link at the top of the show notes to do that it’ll allow you to subscribe to get future episodes, and you can actually leave us a rate and review their we’d really appreciate the feedback because we wanna make this a better product for you and the other people that find this resource because you share it with them. Yes. Please do and thank you in advance for doing. So my name is Scott. And I’m Andrew thank you. So. So much until next time prior preparation prevents poor performance by now.

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