Leadership Management & Training for the 21st Century

LMT 21 The Vision for the Future

10 Reasons Why You Got KO’ed at the Interview

Image from Microsoft Images

One of the most important parts in the interview process is the ability to market “YOU” in a positive light. Communication is KEY. If you can’t communicate effectively through the hiring process and especially during the interview, they are not going to gamble on you. There are three basic areas where interviewers are focused on when asking you questions; how well you communicate, are you enthusiastic about the position, and will you integrate well with others. The following are 10 most commons reasons that get candidates knocked out of the running during the intervew:

  1. Poor personal appearance. You have only one chance to make a first impression. Unfortunately, people will form perceptions about who you are, what you are like, and whether you may or may not be worth their time. Wearing the right clothes can help seal the deal and help you get the jobs that you want.
  2. Inability to communicate your value to the company. Too many candidates use answers that are too vague or irrelevant. You must be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward what the company is looking for that particular position. Connect the dots. Let them visualize you in the position.
  3. Acting Passive or Indifferent. Too many people are in a reactive mode or passive while interviewing. This behavior allows you to blend in with others and defeats the purpose of standing out. A job interview is your sales presentation opportunity. You are trying to sell your skills and abilities to that company. In the interview, you need to communicate your skills that match the critical job requirements, and you have the ability to show that you fit within the company culture.  Being proactive can also show them why you are the best candidate for the position. This can only be done if you are passionate and assertive about getting the position.
  4. Poor Eye Contact. There have been many studies done showing that proper eye contact is an important factor in the decision to hire. Nonverbal behaviors such as posture, eye contact, and gestures send strong messages. High levels of eye contact can also convey high levels of self-esteem.
  5. Lack of planning for your career. During the interview the question may come up “What are you goals for the next five years?”, and those who don’t have a solid answer are sending a message that I have no plans or forethought. I live day-by-day and I have no purpose or goals. Be ready to talk about some goals that you have set for yourself.
  6. No interest in the company. Nothing will knock you out faster than not being able to answer this question. When asked “What do you know about our company?” More people fail here because they lack the research to form a responsible answer. When asked this question, you should be able to talk about the history of the company, their mission statement, their products or services, their goals, or their competition. This question is definitely a deal breaker if you don’t know enough about them that shows your interest in their company.
  7. Bad handshake. Candidates with sweaty hands or a “dead fish” handshake do not instill confidence and imply a lack of ability to relate. A firm handshake at the beginning of an interview can make a good first impression and give you the upper hand in your job interview.
  8. Negative attitude about past employers. There is nothing worse to listen to people who bash their last boss. We have all a one time or another had to work with them. The interview is not the place to vent about your last employer. This sends the wrong message at one of the most crucial times that you are trying to make an impression. This behavior makes the interviewer question “how well will you work with others in my company?” Check your negativity at the door.
  9. Late to the interview. This is a black mark (unprofessionalism) if you didn’t give them proper notification. Enough said.
  10. Not closing the deal or failing to express appreciation of the interviewer’s time. People make this common mistake of not asking for the position, or asking what is the next step in the interview process. Showing this type of concern shows them that you are interested in the position.  Also make sure before you leave that you sincerely thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedule to meet with you. Upon arriving at home immediately fill out a “hand written” thank you card and mail it so it arrives within 48 hours of the interview.

If you have any additional comments, feel free to leave those for others to share.

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