Wednesday, October 23, 2013

5 Obvious Ways to Sabotage Your Own Interview -- Or Maybe Not So Obvious??

Courtesy of the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library.

I went to a group interview and was very surprised at the things people did that I thought were common-knowledge mistakes. (Some background: this was not in Hemet. The position was at a natural medicine office in Westwood, and the interviewer said there were over 300 applicants.)

1.      Dress professionally. I know, you’ve heard this before. Hasn’t everybody? But one person showed up in Uggs, yoga pants, and a beanie. Another one wore slacks and a blazer with red velvet stripper heels -- so no, apparently not.

2.      When the interviewer is talking about her company/business – even if she goes on for a while – for heaven’s sake, don’t look bored! People were staring ahead, looking out the window -- not engaging with the interviewer. Just because she’s not asking you questions at that specific moment doesn’t mean she’s stopped evaluating you!

3.      If they’re looking for a friendly, outgoing kind of person – try your best to feel and act friendly and outgoing. Coming off bland and cold while saying you are a friendly person isn’t going to cut it.

4.      When introducing yourself, don’t sabotage yourself by listing off things you’ve done that were questionable, at all. Also, don’t get personal. For instance, “Hi, I’m 22 and I have four children” is not the best way to start things. Not only does it have no bearing on the job at hand, it also makes it sound like you make bad decisions. I’m sorry, but nobody’s going to believe that you had four children by 22 on purpose, even if you did. Further elaborating that none of them are twins really, really doesn’t help.

5.      Be professional and read books on working/careers so you know what’s considered professional and what’s not. A resume that comes as several pages in a folder is not a good idea. One page, people. One page.

Can’t promise this will get you the job, but I will say it may help get you to the second interview.

I wish I could hear about what I did wrong from whoever was eventually hired.