Finding a good job is tough. You have to send out dozens of resumes, connect with your network, say the right things, spin around three times, and then pray really hard that the interviewer likes you enough to score an interview. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your interviews go nowhere.
Weeks turn into months, and despite your best efforts, you’re still at square one. If your job hunt has been taking longer than usual and your search seems to be leading from one dead end to another, the sobering truth is you may be causing your own misfortune. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that could result in you being placed on the “no hire list.”
1. Showing up in a bad mood
No matter what happened to you immediately before the interview, and no matter how tiring your job search has been, don’t come to the interview with a sour attitude. No one wants to work with someone who is always scowling and complaining. Your interviewer cares about your skills, but he or she also wants to work with someone who won’t negatively affect team morale.
Corporate trainer Chavaz Kingman said if you want the job, you’ll have to fix your attitude. “One thing people don’t often think of before a job interview is the mood they are in. If you have friends or relatives who are not your greatest cheerleaders, then don’t speak to them before the job interview. You want to be as uplifted and as focused as possible. Get rid of the negative voices before walking into the interview,” Kingman told The Cheat Sheet.
2. Being unprepared
Before you go to your interview, make sure you take care of the basics. It’s not enough to wear a new suit and have perfect hair. At the very least, you should know some information about the company as well as a few things about your interviewer, such as his or her work experience. Life and career coach Maggie Reyes said preparation is as simple as doing an internet search. It only takes a few minutes to look this information up on the corporate web page. “Well-prepared candidates review the company website. If they know who they will be meeting, they look them up on LinkedIn or Google and learn about their interviewer. They prepare questions about the role and the company ahead of time and ask intelligent, relevant questions during the interview,” Reyes told The Cheat Sheet.
3. Disregarding the phone interview
Don’t take the phone interview lightly. Your success or failure could determine whether you are granted a face-to-face interview. Just because the interview is over the phone doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare. Do your best to sound enthusiastic and do enough research so that you can ask and answer a variety of questions. “Candidates should never discount a phone interview as just a screening call. Today, many employers conduct a series of phone interviews before inviting candidates to meet in person. It’s important to prepare for a phone interview just as you would for an in-person meeting,” Annette Richmond, a former recruiter and founder of Career Intelligence Resume Writing and Career Services, told The Cheat Sheet.
4. Not reading the job description
Applying blindly to every job you see won’t get you very far. Take time to thoroughly review the job description and think about how your skills match what the employer is requesting from candidates. Reyes said analyzing the description and reviewing how you can deliver on the employer’s request may help you not only sell yourself but also answer tough questions during the interview. “Prepared candidates review the job description and make notes about what portions of their experience are transferable to the role they are applying for. Those notes may or may not come up in the interview, but it helps to be prepared. If there is any part of your experience that isn’t immediately obvious in the resume, but is highly relevant, make a note of that so you can bring it up organically during the conversation,” advised Reyes.
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