There is plenty of info on the web about how to ace a job interview. But knowing how you could potentially blow it is just as important - it only takes a second to lose the rapport you’ve built with a hiring manager. Here are a few mistakes to avoid at all costs:
With stiff competition and a lot on the line, many job seekers are tempted to “massage the truth” on their resume or when talking about past jobs. Embellishing your skills or experience may seem relatively harmless but it can definitely backfire. Plenty of people have been fired after it was discovered they lied on their résumé. Even executives are not immune, as evidenced by the forced resignation of the ex-CEO of Yahoo Scott Thompson. In fact, 2 out of 3 hiring managers say fibbing is an instant deal breaker.
Here’s another no no - complaining about your last job. Doing it tends to raise red flags in the minds of interviewers. Nobody likes being badmouthed, and speaking disparagingly about previous jobs may suggest that you’ll do the same to the company you’re currently interviewing with down the road. Don’t get caught playing the blame game when someone asks, “So, why did you leave your last job?”
Want to separate yourself from the pack? Practice talking about your unique skillset, experience, and motivation. A surprising number of candidates list these on their résumé, but are woefully unprepared to expound on them in person. Don't be like them. A general rule of thumb is to expect to be asked about anything you’ve listed on your résumé. When an interviewer does ask, they’re most likely using your response to gauge your social skills and ability to convey information. Remember the 3 C's of effective communication: be clear, concise, and considerate.
Just like dressing the part, being on time, and being aware of nonverbal cues, knowing what not to do will give you the confidence you need to land the job you want.
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