Executive Interview Pet Peeves

How To Lose A Job: Executive Interview Pet Peeves

Looking for a new job requires a lot of preparation. You have to update your resume, scan local job listings, fill out applications and prepare for interviews. However, many qualified candidates do not make it past the interview phase because they fail to establish a rapport with the person conducting it. While some deal breakers are subjective, there are a handful that are widely agreed upon. If you’re looking for a way to sabotage your application, engaging in these executive interview pet peeves should do it.

Show Up Unprepared and Unprofessional

Dress like it’s casual Friday. Some job seekers look at the casual style fashionable with Silicon Valley startups and conclude that a dress code no longer applies in any industry. This is far from the truth. Many hiring managers feel that an unkempt appearance shows disrespect and suggests that the candidate doesn’t take the process seriously, so if you really want the job make sure your appearance reflects that. If you’re unsure of what to wear, call the office assistant before your interview and ask about the office standard, then come dressed one level up from that.

Treat it like an audition for a theater production. Reading a book or visiting a website that offers tips for succeeding in an interview is a great way to prepare. Many of these include lists of potential questions you might be asked, along with sample answers. These are great for giving you an idea of what kinds of information you should include in your answer, but you should NOT memorize them or use the answers as your own. The interviewer is interested in your qualifications, not your recitation skills. Writing out your own answers and memorizing them word for word is almost as bad, as it can sound rote and insincere. Instead, brainstorm a list of several of your top achievements and practice talking about them candidly and extemporaneously.

Act Like A Jerk

Be rude to support staff. Job seekers who are charming and charismatic with the interviewer but short and disrespectful to secretaries, assistants and other mid-level staff seldom make the final cut. Many executives make a point of consulting with any staff that interacted with a potential candidate to get their opinion on how the individual might fit with the company culture. If you ordered an assistant to get you a cup of coffee or rolled your eyes at the paperwork a secretary asked you to fill out, you can bet it will get back to the interviewer you were trying so hard to impress. If you are discourteous to your potential coworkers before you even work there most companies will assume you are only going to get worse and won’t bother finding out.

Bring a negative attitude. This can take many forms. You might come across as bored or irritated because you are anxious about the interview, stressed about your lack of employment or just acting coy about whether you really want the job, but if you aren’t excited about the position or the company, the employer has no reason to assume you will be an enthusiastic worker. Complaining about past employers suggests you have a bad attitude and will complain about the firm you are interviewing with as well. And never attempt to analyze what’s wrong with the potential employer’s company, especially if they haven’t asked you to.

Make It All About You

Ask generic, self-centered questions. Some job seekers feel that their assessment is over when the interviewer asks if they have any questions, but what you say next can make or break your chances of getting called back. If you only want to know with whether you’ll get dental and how many days off you’re allowed, they may surmise that you are more concerned with what they can do for you than with what you can do for them. Instead, read up on the company and use this time to learn more about the scope of your work and the opportunities for growth and advancement. Hiring managers know that if you really plan to be with the company long-term, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the team and the position.

When you’re searching for a new job you want to put your best foot forward. Don’t undermine your efforts by appearing unprofessional or unprepared. Avoid these executive interview pet peeves, which can overshadow your more impressive traits and sink your chances of making the cut.

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