Sunday 6 October 2013

How to Ruin a Potentially Successful Interview

Mistake No. 1. I couldn't describe myself.
Although we are fully aware that this is one of the most basic interview questions, and that 99% of the time, it is likely to come up, you still hear  people saying that they 'froze' or just babbled away some futile comments about their personal live...not leaving the interviewees very impressed.

Try to write something before you go for your interview about your professional curriculum, your hobbies and something about you as a human being. Take a look at the examples below:

"For the past 15 years, I was a supervisor at ABC Manufacturing. You might wonder why I want to move into sales at this stage in my career, but much of my time has been spent negotiating with vendors and meeting with CEOs. Although the industries might be different, the skills are the same."

"I just received my B.A. in marketing with a 3.9 GPA. My courses in account management give me a strong foundation to begin my career with XYZ company, and I'm excited to learn from the industry leaders here." (Examples from CNN.)

Don't talk about your current job or your husband. Instead, tell a clear, compelling story that highlights significant experiences in your life that led you to the moment when you're sitting in front of the interviewer answering this question. If you can creatively incorporate some personal history and humor, all the better.

Mistake No. 2: I did the hard prep, but not the easy prep
When it comes to interview preparation, start small and build up. Play around on the company website. Test out their products (if applicable) and talk about the pros and cons of the company with a close friend. Prepare a small summary about what the company does and who their primary market is-and then get some experience with that primary market by role-playing as a customer.

Mistake No. 3: I wasn't a smooth player
Hopefully you've gotten beyond feeling super-nervous midway through the interview. But even if you are comfortable, there's still an ultimate interviewee level known as the 'smooth player'.

You don't have to bring baked goods to the interview (and no, you shouldn't, really). Smooth players are confident and put-together interview candidates who ask game-changing questions like, 'If you were forced to say yes or no to hiring me right now, what would be your biggest hesitation in offering me this position?' and 'Can you offer me a tour of the office?'

Smooth players do not awkwardly shake hands and thank the interviewer for their time.

When the end of the interview approaches, assess how you think you did. If you feel strongly that you're still the prime candidate, ask any one of the following analytical questions (or more, if appropriate) to be seen as a slick character:
  • 'May I have a tour of the office?'
  • 'If you were forced to say yes or no to hiring me right now, what would be your biggest hesitation in offering me this position?'
  • 'May I ask why you are interested in me for this position?'
  • 'What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in the person you plan to hire for this position?'

And if you need more ideas about questions to ask, don't forget the basics like 'What would a typical work day look like for someone in this position?'

This article is courtesy of Aol Jobs.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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