The Top 10 Worst Interview Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making

Let’s cut to the chase: Interviews are hard. Trying to explain all of your life’s achievements in an hour while still trying to make yourself seem like an enjoyable person is difficult.There are probably many tips you have been given about interviews. How to prepare, how to dress, what to say and how to answer the “describe yourself” question are probably obvious at this point. But what about the less obvious flaws in your interview? What about the mistakes you don’t even know you’re making? Well we’re here to help. Here are the top 10 mistakes that you don’t even realize you might be making.

1. Checking your phone
Now this might seem obvious. Nobody wants to hire someone that cannot be bothered to stop texting during an interview. But most graduates of today use their smartphones for more than just texting or calling. You might be sitting in an interview and wonder what time it is. Many go straight for their phones, look at the time on the screen and put their phones back before they’ve even realized they’ve done it. The employer could find this unprofessional or uncaring.
2. Being too “professional”
If you are trying to be on your very best behavior, there’s a chance you could come off too cold and clinical. You need to make sure that you are being positive and acting like your normal self. Acting mostly professional might help you look good in an interview but your potential employer is also looking for someone that would work well with their company culture. They are looking for someone that coworkers would get along with and someone who fits in with their environment.
3. Vocal disfluencies
Vocal disfluencies include using like, um, huh, urm, uh and well, regularly in their speech. These disfluencies might make you look unprepared or nervous. Also watch your speech patterns if you often make every sentence end as if it were a question, speaking too fast or are speaking in other unprofessional manners, you could lose your chance at the position.
4. Too generic
After going to too many interviews, the positions might start sounding the same. You start going in expecting the same questions about the same topics and feel fully prepared to go into each similar interview. This is a problem because businesses expect you to know about their company. If you aren’t able to ask specific questions to their company or pick up on their company culture, they might see it as disinterest. Nobody wants to hire someone who just wants a job. They want to hire someone that likes their industry, their company and gets excited about this opportunity.
5. Negativity
Nobody wants to hear about other people’s drama. If you had a problem with a previous coworker, boss, or professor, keep it to yourself. Talking badly about others make you look unprofessional. Try to speak as positively as you can and move forward in the conversation. Plus an employer would think if you speak badly about a previous boss, there’s nothing to keep you from speaking poorly about them.
6. Using scholastic achievement in place of experience
Now this is what nobody in your high school or college wanted you to know. Businesses take your scholastic achievement seriously. If you did well in school, it shows you have many great skills to put forward. The issue is when you try to make school or extracurricular activities look like experience. It might be great if you were part of an organization that taught you leadership skills, volunteering for a cause and teamwork, but those are skills and do not necessarily take the place of time spent in any corporate environment. If you have never spent time in the industry, it is usually better to be straightforward about your lack of experience. Trying to place your skills that you learned in another environment makes you look even less prepared for the job at hand.
7. Saying you have other offers
The company that hires you wants to be your first choice. Telling them you have other offers might create a feeling of unease. If they interview someone after you who really wants to work with them, they might assume that the next interviewer cares more or has a more likelihood of taking their offer. You should also keep salary concerns to yourself in the first interview. If the company asks you about what you want for your salary, you can politely say that you’d rather not answer the question. Your salary is your business.
8. Not asking questions
If you are asked at the end of your interview if you have any other questions, you should. It makes you look unprepared or uninterested if you don’t have any questions to ask the interviewer. Ask about what a normal day looks like in the position or what some major goals are for the position at hand. You could even say that you can’t think of questions right now, but might have some later and ask whom you should contact.
9. The dreaded question
As the interview is ending and your interviewer asks if you have any other questions. The worst answer you can give is: “Is there any reason you wouldn’t hire me?” This is problematic because it puts the interviewer on the spot asking if you have the position, where it might not be their place to tell you. It makes them uncomfortable and will likely not get you a critical answer.
10. Not saying thank you.
If you don’t make a conscious effort to thank your interviewer after the interviewer, you might miss your chance. Make sure that you shake your interviewer’s hand after the interview and say “Thank you for your consideration” or “Thank you for your time”. You should also write a follow up thank you note. Depending on the company’s culture, this could either be a handwritten note put into the mail or a personalized email that you send shortly after the interview.

For other interview questions and tips, visit our blog!

A Guide For The Recent Grad

You’ve taken your last set of finals, received your diploma, and are excited about starting a new chapter in your life…now what? Finding your first job post-graduation might be the toughest and most frustrating time in your life thus far. Never fear, the Wilson Group is here! We have outlined three tips to help you through this stressful time.

Find a Mentor:
The best way to know where to start your career is to learn from the past life of someone you look up to. Find a mentor that is in the same field you are hoping to go into and talk to them about how they got started. Not only will they give you advice on how to kick off your career, but they also might be a useful contact for networking purposes. It is always easier to follow a recipe than make up your own, so follow their recipe for success and try to follow it. However, like any good recipe, you can always stray a bit from the path and make it your own. This person has been exactly where you stand today, so they know how to help you through the ups and downs of starting your professional life.

Don’t Be Too Picky:
After four years of countless all nighters and what seems like an eternity of research papers and complicated classes, it is hard not to feel as though you deserve more than an entry level position. However, your first few years in the workforce may not be, and will not be your end all be all. Your first job does not define you, so look it as more of a stepping stone to reaching your dream career. After all, we all have to start somewhere and gain experience. When applying for jobs you should apply for your dream positions, but you should also think about not being as picky and take an entry level position. You never know where that job can take you, for all you know, you could be running that company one day!

Don’t Lose Hope:
Your mailbox is full of rejection emails and you are on the breaking point of giving up, but don’t lose hope! There are thousands of other recent grads out there feeling exactly the way you are. It seems as though every day you see someone else posting on social media about getting their dream job at company X, or getting into a prestigious graduate school abroad, but stop comparing yourself to those people, and focus on your own life. Social comparison is the thief of joy, especially during this time in your life, and Facebook only heightens the feelings of inadequacy. Don’t let other’s success get in the way of your own. Instead look at them as a resource, talk to them about how they got their job, and who knows, they may even be able to help you get a job. Success is not a race, you have the rest of your life to be in the workforce, so don’t stress so much if something doesn’t fall into your lap immediately, you will come out more resilient in the long run.

For more tips on starting your career off on the right foot, visit our website.

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