Smart People Dumb Interviews

Whether you graduated from a prestigious university or you are highly experienced in your field, there are any number of factors that can make you feel as though you have your next job interview all locked up. You might be incredibly smart. You might even be smarter than the interviewer, but you should never assume that just because your intelligence is evident that you automatically have the job. There are some very common interview mistakes that the keenest individuals make, and you should watch out for them so that you will land that position.

People with extensive qualifications tend to assume that their value is obvious. You never want to make this assumption. You should never assume that the interviewer will know what your high-ranking job title entailed. You should also never think that the hiring manager will know what a specific project consisted of and what went into making it a reality. An interviewer wants to hear you talk about your experiences and skills, so during an interview, you want to spell out each and every one of your qualifications so that the person interviewing you knows exactly what you did.

The Proper Way to Behave

Some job candidates who are overly confident in their abilities will act a little too friendly during the interview. While being personable is certainly plus, you want to avoid coming across as unprofessional. You should be easy to talk to, but you do not want to act like you and the hiring manager have been best friends for years. Some of the specific ways job applicants act too friendly is by making too many jokes, providing information that could be viewed as gossip and simply speaking too casually. The reason why you want to maintain a certain degree of professionalism is that some interviewers question the validity of a candidate's excessive friendliness. They may think you are trying to gain a leg up in the interview process, and they would rather view you as a colleague than a buddy. Show that you would be fun to work with, but keep it professional.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you also want to avoid coming across as too coy. You do not want to be shy around the hiring manager about your enthusiasm for this line of work or mask your interest in this specific position. You do not want to sound like an obsessed fan, but it should be clear that this is not going to be just another job for you. You should be passionate about the kind of work you are doing and relay that enthusiasm in the interview in a mature manner. You should have reasons why you want to work at this company as opposed to competitors. You should state what this company has to offer you professionally that you cannot get elsewhere. Find a middle ground between being too enthusiastic and being too detached.

What to Do After the Interview

Confidence that you got the position is good to an extent, but you should never assume that a hiring manager is inherently going to want you to work at the company. A number of factors go into the hiring process and just because you have a good amount of education or you are coming from a great company does not guarantee you a job. Therefore, after an interview, you should always follow-up.

Some people are worried about following up because they do not want to come across as a pest. You definitely want to be mindful of when and how often you are contacting the company, but following up in and of itself is perfectly fine and desirable. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager should tell you when they will be making a response. If you are told that you will hear an answer by Wednesday and it is already Thursday, then you should feel free to give them a call and see where they are. More time might be needed than was originally anticipated. It is also possible that you may not hear anything back. Either way, you should never feel awkward about checking in.

Interviewing is a complex process, and even the most intelligent people make some pretty simple mistakes. Everyone has something to learn about going on job interviews, so do your research and learn more about the proper way to conduct yourself during an interview.

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LiveCareer Staff Writer

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering…

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