In today’s competitive and overcrowded job market it’s easy to dismiss some of the most basic things that could have gone wrong during your job interview. Some of them may have no direct connection to how well your interview went – the company might have resorted to an internal hire, another candidate might have got the job or the position may have become obsolete. However, there are things that also could have happened during your interview within your control. Here are eight possible reasons why your job interview went wrong.
1) You were late
Showing up on time – if not a little early – is vital. This shows potential employers that you respect their time that they are giving you and is common courtesy. Being late is one of the most common mistakes made when being invited to a job interview and can make you appear unprepared and disinterested.
What to do? Prepare beforehand and, if necessary, test your route to see if you make it in time. Always allow for traffic jams or incidents which may occur.
2) You weren’t prepared
This is one of the most common reasons why your job interview didn’t go so well. Candidates that show up to their interviews and have no idea what the company does quickly land in the interviewers black list. Standard questions are always bound to come up so make sure you practice beforehand with a family member/friend and prepare some generic answers.
What to do? Prepare and do your research – find out how many people it employs, the history, goals and projected future. Prepare for those bog-standard interview questions, i.e. what are your strengths/weaknesses?
3) You didn’t dress to impress
First impressions count so make sure you’re giving off the right message with your interview attire. Before you even open your mouth, the recruiter will have already judged you on what you’re wearing, so coming in with creased clothing, improper ties, mini-skirts and low cut blouses is a big no-no.
What to do? Keep it strictly professional, elegant and sharp. Make sure your shoes are polished, hair brushed and you’re appropriate. Try to keep your make-up natural, dresses knee-length (or longer) and make sure nothing is too exposed.
4) You failed to answer some questions
Instead of listening well to the interviewer’s questions and providing relevant answers, candidates tend to get stressed and ramble on about everything but the subject of the question. Your answers should be substantial, since they are probably aimed at uncovering a crucial skill or competence.
What to do? Rehearse your answers, but make sure to sound natural during your actual interview. Why not try practicing infront of the mirror to help build up your confidence.
5) Your body language betrayed you
You gave a limp handshake, you were too stressed out to make eye contact and you were fidgeting throughout the entire interview. Is it any wonder you didn’t make a good impression?
What to do? Being in control of our bodily responses when we’re stressed and uncomfortable is key to impressing future employers. During your interview do your best to remain calm, stay in an open position (don’t cross your arms), sit up straight and make eye contact. Show your enthusiasm for the position and translate this feeling through your body language.
6) You never asked any questions
When you’re asked whether you have any questions at the end of the interview – a ‘no’ answer may show a lack of enthusiasm or interest in the position. This can successfully ruin your work from the past hour.
What to do? Ask questions. It's simple! Important aspects of the job, possibility of gaining extra skills, company culture or the interviewer’s personal experience and impressions of working at the company. These questions will let the employer know you're keen to find out more and not just ready to rush out of the door.
7) You simply failed to sell yourself
Don’t be afraid to boast about your achievements at your current job. Coming off too coy could be a big mistake during a job interview when you’ve got limited time to demonstrate the skills required.
What to do? There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance – when talking about your successful projects make sure to refer to the opinions of others, such as “I have a reputation for delivering my projects on time and within budget.”
8) You never followed up
It’s important to follow up the interview with a thank you ‘note’ – it’s something that will help set you apart from other candidate’s interviews.
What to do? Send an email to the recruiter, thanking them for the opportunity and reiterating your interest in the position.
For help with any aspect of finding and landing your next job, call us on +44 (0) 1329 227 000