10 Reasons You Suck At Interviews And What You Can Do About It
July 7, 2015
Can’t seem to nail the interview? Feel like you have all the right qualifications but keep bombing the ever so daunting face-to-face interview with your dream employer? Not to worry. Here are 10 reasons you’re likely bombing the interview, and what you can do about it.
1. You’re Not Keeping It Real
Instead of being who you are, you try to be what you think they want. You aim to be boisterous when you are naturally more reserved. To show interest you treat everyone like they are a long lost relative with whom you were finally able to reunite. Cut the crap. No one likes a fake. They want to see who you are. So politely let them see. Authenticity is attractive.
2. You’re Not Confident
Instead of giving off the vibe that you were made for the job, you radiate “I don’t think I belong here…please don’t eat me.” Employers want to see someone who can interact well with people. They want to see that you can handle yourself under pressure. That you are secure in your knowledge and abilities. Your Confidence is contagious.
3. You Talk Too Much
This is not a talk show. The point is not for them to ask you a question and then you tell a bunch of random, interesting stories about your life. Stick to the point. Answer the question they ask and separate yourself from others by listening. Listening shows you are receptive. It communicates that you are confident in your skills as well, showing that you you don’t feel you have to talk the entire time to convince them of your competence.
4. You’re Unprepared
It is a good idea (actually it’s an awesome idea) to show knowing everything you can cram in your brain about the company, the field, and, if possible, the person interviewing you. You will be more equipped to answer questions with pertinent information rather than imprecise, vague answers that sound canned.
5. You’re Body Language is Awkward
Didn’t your mother tell you not to slouch? Well, she was right! Our body language communicates more powerfully at times than our words. So shake hands firmly and look them in the eye and maintain that eye contact when you’re listening. Sit up in your chair so you appear interested. And most importantly, SMILE! Pretend you are trying to communicate to them that this is the most interesting job interview you’ve ever experienced.
6. You’re Late
In some cultures, there is a natural buffer of time that people can be late but still be considered on time. Our culture ain’t one of those. So don’t cut it close when you go to your interview. If you can, drive there the day before to make sure you know the way and where to park. Check the traffic, and give yourself some breathing room for the lane that is unexpectedly shut down.
7. You’re Not Inquisitive
When it comes time for your employer to ask if you have any questions for them, you give a blank stare and either non-verbally shake your head, or, heaven forbid, you ask some lame question that pops into your head. Instead, develop a list of questions you could ask prior to the interview. If they come to mind in the interview, jot a quick note to remind yourself. Inquisitiveness shows interest.
8. You’re Vague
“How much do you love me?” “Oh, so much. You know, just a lot. You’re the best.” Not super convincing, huh? It is the same with an employer. If you give vague answers to their questions, it leaves them doubting if there is any substance to your desire to be with them. Answer their questions specifically with good examples from your qualified past.
9. You’re Not Excited
A job interview isn’t a bummer, so don’t act like it. Even if you’d rather be anywhere else in the world, act enthused about the opportunity set before you. Why would they want to hire someone who is apathetic about their workplace or appears to be burnt out before they’ve even begun? Show some interest, some passion, some desire. Just balance it out so you don’t look fake (see above point).
10. You’re Dishonest
You know how fishermen are accused of exaggerating their stories to make them more exciting? Interviewing for a job is not a good time to tell your “fish story” in regards to past experiences. Stretching the truth a little to make yourself look better is not the way to get an employer to like you. Instead, be honest with your experience, honest with your desire to learn, and honest about your determination to get to where you want to be.
Wow, looking back at those they all apply to relationships too. You’re welcome!
Humor aside, it’s important to keep these all top of mind and hone in on your skills to interview well. The interview will always make or break you when pursuing your dream career.
That said, we have you covered when it comes to impressing potential employers. With our 3D Resume and guides, you’ll be well on your way to crushing your interview and landing your dream job in no time.
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Ronny Cheng is one of the Co-Founder’s of Digital Astronauts and has helped drive lead generation in the software industry for organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. He helped build one of the first online software review websites, specializing in CRM, ERP, and HR software. He’s a nationally published author with extensive experience working with the HR/Recruiting industries largest brands. In his spare time, you can catch him on Instagram doing his best food blogger impersonation.