11 Costly Blunders to Avoid in a Job Interview

Performing your best during a job interview includes practicing what you want to say and how to say it. You want to demonstrate your skill set and top accomplishments in a confident, personable way. Avoid diminishing your abilities and downplaying your success by avoiding these costly missteps.

  1. When scheduling your interview, make sure you can fulfill your commitment to be at the interview at the designated time and arrive a few minutes early.
  2. Make sure to dress your best (even if the company has a casual dress code), leave your phone in the car, dispose of the gum and don’t drink coffee during the interview.
  3. Don’t write “see resume” when completing an employment application.
  4. Don’t ask about working from home or what the benefits will be during the initial stages of the interview process.
  5. Keep answers relevant and to the point. Don’t be long-winded.  If you do all the talking, the interviewer will not be able to determine your ability to do the job by asking key questions.
  6. Listen! Don’t answer a different question than the one they actually ask you.
  7. Don’t talk over the interviewer.
  8. Have questions ready to ask about the company based upon the research you have done.
  9. Do not complain about your previous employer.
  10. If you are interested in the position, let the interviewer know you are interested and what the next steps will be in the interview process.
  11. Don’t write a thank you note to the interviewer while still on the job interview! Wait until after the interview and send a thank you note to express your interest in the position and to thank them for the interview.

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How to Answer Tough Questions on an Interview

No matter how prepared you are as a job seeker, there is always going to be the prospect of being asked tough interview questions. This is especially true when companies are looking for ways to identify the top job candidates available. Difficult or odd interview questions are often thrown in to stump candidates in order to evaluate their ability to think on their toes.

How will you answer tough questions during your next interview? Here are some examples of tough interview questions you may be asked, and how to ace them!  If possible, ask for the complete job description before the interview to help you prepare.  If you are working with a financial recruiter or staffing agency, you most often will be able to obtain this information on the job requirements.

Why did you leave your last job?

This can be a tricky one, particularly if you were terminated or if you left for a negative reason. The best course of action is to be as brief as possible, but be truthful. Do not say anything negative about your former boss, co-workers or company. And never lie about the situation – that might work in the short term, but will come back to haunt you in the long run.

Are you looking to change careers?

If you have applied for a job that is unrelated to your work history, or if you have been with your current employer for a short time, it can appear that you are a job hopper of sorts. It’ important to state that you are always learning as a professional and find that you are open to new experiences. Prior to the interview, consider your skills that are transferrable and show how you can use your past experiences to bring value to this job.

How would your peers describe you?

Think about how you have interacted with your co-workers in the past. Share some positive experiences, and be sure to add that you are viewed as trustworthy, reliable, knowledgeable, and a real team player. When talking about completing a team project, don’t take all the credit. Explain your role and compliment your team members.

What are your weaknesses?

Be careful with this interview question. You will want to share some things that you may find yourself to be somewhat weak in, but here’s the trick – make them actually positive traits. For example, you are honest to a fault, or you are so organized your co-workers tease you.

Why should we hire you?

Very often, an employer will come right out and say they have other candidates, so why should they consider you for the job? Try to show some passion for the industry here, and be sure to state that you are dedicated to exceeding expectations and learning all you can to be the best employee for this open position. Back these statements up by providing facts and examples from your working experience.

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