When it comes to job searching there are two types of candidates, those who exude confidence and walk away from every meeting knowing they crushed it, or those who question every move they made during the interview.
Which one are you?
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Surprisingly, a lot of people will tell you they are a confident interview crusher! If you fall into this camp, let’s look at what happens when the rubber actually hits the road.
The Facts Of Your Job Interview
Ok, so you’re consistently landing interviews, and you feel great in every meeting, but you’re still not landing job offers. What’s missing? Where’s the disconnect? Is it your resume? Your follow up? The fact you’re overqualified? Here’s a clue, none of that is the problem. The problem solely sits on your shoulders!
How am I so confident in knowing this?
Well, since we know your resume is the primary key to getting your foot in the door for an interview, and you’re landing interviews, then your resume obviously isn’t the issue.
What about being overqualified? Nope, that’s not it either. Hiring teams won’t waste their time meeting with individuals who aren’t a fit for the role. And, even if a few would, it’s not possible to imagine that every company you’ve met with would fall into that same category.
Could it be your follow-up? Maybe, if it’s really, really poor. However, that’s not likely; especially 100% of the time.
That only leaves one option – YOU – and your performance during the interview.
Again, if you aren’t getting interviews, then you need a new resume. But, if you’re successful in getting interviews lined up and simply can’t close the deal, then YOU are the key to why you aren’t landing a job offer.
So, the next time you walk out of an interview and feel things have gone great, but the phone never rings for next steps, look back on your interviews and try to make sense of what went wrong. After reflecting, I bet you’ll check off at least one of the below misses!
Not Listening, Waiting For Your Turn To Talk And Over Selling
The fatal interview mistake you may be making is trying too hard. Whether you’re arrogant or simply overselling your skills, if you can’t back up your claims during the job interview then you’re out of the race.
When you overtalk or oversell yourself during an interview, you’ll walk away thinking it went great. Why? Because collectively people like to talk about themselves.
And, while you’re definitely meeting a hiring manager to sell yourself and your capabilities, it needs to be a two-way conversation. If you do most of the talking during an interview, unfortunately, you’ll think it went great but the interviewer will be unimpressed.
During your next interview focus on communication. Listen more, talk less and slow things down. Add substance to the conversation, not self-praise and chit-chat. An interview should be an exchange of information, not a commercial or an interrogation by either party. It’s important to sell yourself and the value you bring but don’t overdo it.
Not Knowing What You’re Interviewing For
Be nimble, flexible and open to new things. Great interview advice in general right?
While this is true, it doesn’t erase the fact that you should know what position you are there to discuss. Go into an interview understanding what you’re there to interview for and focus on that specific role.
If you’re engaging in an exploratory interview, then treat it as such. Explore the options, company culture and mission of the organization. Focus on your value proposition and what you can bring to the table to accelerate growth for the company and stakeholders.
It’s critical that you remain open during an exploratory conversation. Don’t paint the picture that you’re only interested in a certain level of opportunity or type of work. Doing so will box you in and could very well ruin your chances of being considered for an alternate role than what you’ve outlined as your focus. Using phrases like “Executive level” Sr. management” and even “Director” signals that the title and level within the organization is your only concern; not the contribution you can make.
Whether the role has been defined or is somewhat exploratory, you may also find that interviewers will touch on future opportunities or other roles within the organization. Talking about long-term career growth is great, but don’t lose sight of why you are there. Discussing promotion opportunities is fabulous, but when overdone, you risk sending the message that you aren’t interested in the role you’re interviewing for. Focus on the opportunity in front of you, not ahead of you. Hiring managers want to bring someone on board who is excited about their current open position.
Showing Up Way Too Early
You’ve heard us tell you a million times to do a “dry run” before an interview to understand commute times. We’ve also always told you to arrive at an interview early. But, are you showing up too early?
If you have 30 minutes to waste, the answer is yes. Arriving 20 minutes before is the absolute earliest you should arrive, but 10-15 minutes is preferred.
Why does timing matter?
When you arrive too early you’ll impact the interview negatively. The receptionist will call the hiring manager to share that you have arrived and he or she will feel pressure to either start early or simply ignore your presence. In either instance, it isn’t a great way to start an interview.
Instead of rolling in uber early, head to Starbucks. Relax a bit and review your preparation notes. Then show up 10 – 15 minutes before your scheduled meeting.
What Else Is Missing
While the job market is currently candidate driven, that doesn’t mean landing a job will be a cake walk. Being self-absorbed, unprepared or overly anxious will hinder you from landing a new role.
Make sure you focus on the needs of the company and how you can solve those needs. If you’re interviewing for a leadership role, be prepared to discuss challenges you’ll face as a leader. If it’s an individual contributor role, then put your focus squarely on the value you’ll bring the team and company. Don’t assume you’re awesome. Don’t assume it’s in the bag. And don’t assume that you’ll be ok if you wing it. Prepare, put your best footforard and engage duing the interview and watch you close ration climb!