Imagine that you’re sitting with the employer and you just have that sinking feeling like this is just a huge fail.
There are number of reasons why they can blow up on you.
The first one is because the hiring manager reviewed your resume and interpreted something you wrote that you didn’t intend it to say. That mistake is from the employer’s and, of course, not your fault. Sometimes, they read things into your resume and wish and hope and pray that you have that particular experience. And, you know, within 5 minutes, everyone knows that you don’t have the background that they are looking for.
Another reason is that is your fault. Sometimes, you overstated your skill or experience or success, and, because you are desperate to get that interview, you oversold yourself. That’s your fault.
As a result, you wasted your time and wasted someone else’s time. I have that happen with resumes I have read all the time. People submit resumes and they really don’t have the experience that the resume suggests. I can tell within 2 minutes at that is the case. I just get them off the phone fast.
Don’t overstate what you can do. By the same token, don’t understated. Just be accurate.
Sometimes job interviews fail because, frankly, the interviewer gets lost in the thought. They have other things on their plate and interviewing is 1 of 25 things they may have to contend with on a given day. So, for whatever the reason, the timing wasn’t right for the interview. You are stuck sitting there or trying to talk with them and realize pretty quickly that you’ve lost them attention.
Finally, and this one is your fault, you are boring. They ask you a question and you never organized your thoughts around this topic and, as a result, you go off and drone on and are absolutely awful with how you present your ideas. You give long-winded answers to questions that need to be answered in 35 to 45 seconds.
What job interview tips can you employ to avoid this?
The easiest thing is to ask them about the role that you’re going to be interviewing for. Just don’t accept the interview. Ask them to talk with you about the job and explore it a bit when you are invited for the interview. This way, if they are projecting experience onto you that you don’t have, you can investigate further and say, “I really haven’t done what you’re looking for. This is what I have done. Does that work for you?” If they say, “no,” you save everyone a bunch of time.
Another thing you can do is don’t exaggerate. Lay out exactly what you know and what you’ve done. Exaggeration can put you in the position of wasting a lot of folk’s time.
If you get a sense that the interviewer is off in thought (if you’re in a phone interview this is a really easy one), this is one trick – – cough. Doing a quick cough will jolt them back to attention. If you are in an in person interview, shift your position a little bit and that will get them back.
To avoid droning on, pay attention. Hear the question and stay on point. If you’re doing this over the phone. Very simply, jot down the question on a slip of paper (you do have your resume in front of you for a phone interview, don’t you). Jot notes down on your resume and let that remind you how to stay on point.
Finally, keep your answers to 30 to 45 seconds where possible. What I found is that when people go over 45 seconds. The interviewer starts to mentally “channel surf” and start thinking about other thoughts other than you. Keep your answers brief and to the point and. You’ll find that you not going to wind up losing them.
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