Interviews are arguably the most important aspect employers take into consideration when deciding whether or not to hire someone. Your resume can be absolutely magnificent, but if you come across poorly in your interview, the hiring manager is not going to want to work with you. Although every interviewer is different, there are some common pet peeves hiring managers often share. If you want to stand a chance at getting your dream job, you should avoid falling into these pitfalls.
A far too common problem that comes up is job applicants coming into an interview inappropriately dressed. Even if the company you are applying for has a casual atmosphere, you always want to dress to impress. Being overdressed is preferable to being underdressed, so if you are confused about what you should be wearing, always err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively than you normally would. If your clothes are too informal or if you are not properly groomed, that can be a clear sign to the interviewer that you are not taking this process seriously.
Overselling or Underselling Yourself
It is good to have confidence in yourself, but hiring managers do not want to hear you talk about how wonderful you think you are. The problem with overselling yourself is that if you are constantly talking about what a huge asset you are to the company you currently work for, why are you looking for work elsewhere? Overselling yourself makes it seem like you are compensating for something, and if you sell yourself too highly, the hiring manager is going to wonder if you can truly deliver on this supposed greatness. Additionally, if you are talking about a group project you worked on and you give yourself too much credit, the hiring manager will wonder if you are a credit hog and are incapable of giving credit where credit is due.
On the other hand, you want to be careful of selling yourself short. You should be able to point to examples of your previous line of work where you provided significant contributions without sounding too egotistical. You need to be able to sell yourself, and if you are unable to provide evidence of why an employer would want to hire you, then you are not going to get hired. When you are discussing a group project, you want to give yourself an adequate amount of credit because if it sounds like you really did not do anything, then that is going to make it seem like you would not contribute anything to this company. The way to talk about yourself is to strike a balance between showing your worth and acknowledging that you are able to work with other people.
Talking About the Company You Are Applying For
Another common pet peeve hiring managers have is when job applicants speak negatively of the organization they are trying to get a job at. If an interviewer asks for your opinion on a certain company problem, then you can use that as an opportunity to identify areas of improvement and show that you have done your research. However, unsolicited advice is not going to sit well with anybody. Hiring managers are less likely to be impressed that you found a problem and are much more likely to just be insulted.
Another mistake to watch out for is to say you have found a solution to the company’s problem and making it clear that you do not understand the entire situation. The interviewer is likely well aware that there is an issue and he or she has probably worked effortlessly to come up with a solution. An interviewee who strolls in and says the solution to the problem is so obvious is just going to make the hiring manager mad. A much better way to talk about a company’s problems is to ask further questions about the situation and then working through the problem with the employer to reach some semblance of a solution. It is okay to not have the solution to everything. Hiring managers want to see that you are willing to walk through a problem diligently instead of jumping to conclusions uninformed.
Most job applicants do not make these mistakes intentionally. They are often unaware that they have done anything wrong. Brush up on what hiring managers are looking for in a new hire so that you can properly display that in your interview.