Chances are if you’ve applied for a new job position, you’ve had your share of screenings, phone interviews, filling out forms offline and online, maybe even taking tests and medical examinations. So when the time comes and you finally get a job interview, why wouldn’t you be prepared? The following are 5 common job interview mistakes that job candidates make and some tips on how to correct them:

Mistake #1: Don’t Prepare for the Interview:

It is difficult to believe that a job candidate would work so hard to finally land an interview and then try to wing it…but it does happen a lot. Not only is it a good idea to research a company before your job interview, but it’s probably better to actually start the research process in the early stages when you know you are interested in a position with Company X.

Taking the time to learn what you can about the company you are interviewing with really gives you an edge in the interview. You’ll gain tremendous insight into a company by simply visiting their website. In the interview you’ll be armed with information such as familiarity of the actual services or products the company offers their clients or customers, their company culture, work environment, and their mission and goals.

Visiting your targeted company’s social networking sites gives you additional insight regarding how well they interact online with their audience—what they say and how they say it. This can be an indicator of how they may talk to you as well. Doing a simple company name search on Google can easily lead you to the latest news or press releases to find out what projects the company may be involved in, as well as, their reputation or other items they haven’t posted on their website whether intentionally or not.

Mistake #2: Don’t Communicate Clearly:

The interview is the moment you’ve been waiting for so you can shine and convince the hiring manager that you are the best “one” for the position. This is your chance to make a case for why the hiring manager should hire you—don’t be too vague or talk in generalities. When asked about your prior work history, give specific examples or anecdotes of how your work had a positive impact or result for the company you worked for.

When asked why they should hire you, don’t just run down a laundry list of your skills. Paint a picture of relevance in the mind of your interviewer. Tell him how these skills translate into positively impacting the company’s profits. You have to sell your skill set to him and let him know your skills can solve some of the company’s problems.

Mistake #3: Don’t Ask Any Questions:

Usually after the interview starts to wind down, the hiring manager asks the job candidate if he or she has any questions. Telling the interviewer that you don’t or that he has pretty much answered all of your questions can hurt you. It is in your best interest to ask questions—not asking any can make you appear as though you are not too interested in the position.

Asking additional questions about the company or opportunity shows interest and that you have given some forethought to the opportunity. You may be able to ask some questions about the company based on the background information you discovered when you prepared for the interview.

Mistake #4: Talk About Salary in the First Meeting:

Don’t start the interview process off by planting a negative in the mind of the interviewer. If you bring up salary before the interviewer mentions it, you may be viewed as someone that only cares about the money and doesn’t demonstrate a passion for what you do.

Another thing to consider is at this point in the game you probably really don’t know enough about what is required of you in the position and whether or not the salary is worthy of the actual job duties. You really need to take the time to learn more about the company, its’ people, the products or services, the clients or customers, the position, and what will be expected of you.

Mistake #5: Don’t Demonstrate Enthusiasm for the Position:

It is startling to think that a job candidate would work so hard to get an interview and then act disinterested once there. It really is important to go out of your way to show enthusiasm for the company and the position if your goal is to move to the next step in the hiring process. Chances are you’ll be competing for the position and other candidates will show their eagerness to fill the role.

When you get an interview and find out during the meeting that for some reason this is definitely “NOT” the opportunity for you, at the very least, you should show the interviewer common courtesies such as politeness, attentiveness, professionalism, and friendliness. Just because this position isn’t for you doesn’t mean there won’t be another down the line with the same company…and it’s best not to burn any bridges behind you.
It really doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare for your next job interview, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get an interview in the first place—so it doesn’t make any sense to blow it by not being ready. Investing a little time in the present can pay off big for your job future.

Author's Bio: 

Dave Dart is the Managing Partner of the Morisey-Dart Group, an executive recruitment firm that specializes in recruiting for Managed Print Services, Managed IT Services, Document Management Solutions, Health Information Management (HIM), Health Information Systems (HIS), Banking and Financial Services, and Legal industries.

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