How to Avoid the Worst Interview Blunders

By March 18, 2014 No Comments

clown in suitWe all slip up now and then.  But in an interview, major blunders are especially disastrous.  Making a good first impression is priority number one even in the moments leading up to the actual interview, and some transgressions are nearly impossible to recover from.

According to more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR staff surveyed by Careers.com, the worst offense in an interview is appearing disinterested (55 percent said so).  Interviewers also cited the following among the worst candidate behaviors:

  • Dressing inappropriately
  • Appearing arrogant
  • Bad-mouthing current or past employers
  • Taking a phone call or texting during the interview
  • Appearing ignorant about the company or the role
  • Speaking in generalities (get specific, people!)
  • Asking lackluster questions, or none at all
  • Over-sharing
  • Asking personal questions of the hiring manager

Making a connection – being memorable – is important, but some interviewees go overboard and come off as creepy.  Sharing a bit about your life outside of the office is fine (a brief anecdote about your kids or your dog may help you bond with the hiring manager), but keep the focus on your professional capabilities and accomplishments.  That’s why you’re in the hot seat, after all.

Dress to support your image as both someone who takes the interview process seriously and someone who understands the industry.  Professional attire is always appropriate, but a statement piece or bold tie will be better received at a creative agency than, say, at an accounting firm.

The bottom line in the hiring process: consider your audience.  What do they expect?  What do they want to see?  What do they want to hear?  Delivering the “hire me!” message is so much easier when you keep the other parties’ interests in mind.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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