There are more sudden death mistakes made in the job interview than any other part of the job search process. It’s like running a marathon just to trip and break a leg in the final 10 yards (9.144 Meters). Some mistakes are common sense errors, like showing up late, but some are more bizarre and less well known. Here are seven bizarre mistakes you don’t want to make.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities:
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) is an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to many different kinds of pollutants including perfumes. So here is the scenario, you walk into your interview wearing perfume, cologne, aftershave and your interviewer immediately begins to experience the following symptoms- burning, stinging eyes wheezing, breathlessness nausea headache/migraine/vertigo/dizziness runny nose (rhinitis) skin rashes and/or itching skin. Your chance of being hired; terminated. Leave off the perfumes!
What is the last business meeting you went to empty handed? If you were not lugging your laptop and Blackberry, hopefully you were at least carrying a piece of paper and a pen to take notes. A job interview is a business meeting, don’t go empty handed. The best thing to carry is a portfolio with extra copies of your resume, your interview presentation and a tablet to take notes. Nothing in your hand displays a lack of interest and a lack of interest will kill you every time.
Running off at the Mouth:
When people get anxious they tend to go one of two ways, the become quiet or they go on and on. So if you are a long winded rambling type, contain yourself. You should never speak more than two minutes in an interview. Once you have spoken for two minutes stop and ask if you have answered the question or if the interviewer wants more detail. Also, read the interviewer’s body language; are they bored with your answer or still attentive? Rambling on and boring your interviewer will put your interviewer and your employment chances to sleep.
Too many question:
You should know that you need good insightful questions to ask. However, asking too many questions of the wrong type can kill your chances for the job. Develop a set of questions that will tell you whether this is the job and company for you. But do not overpower the interviewer with questions about details that really will not count in the long run. Before asking a question, consider if the answer will tell you more about the critical requirements of the job or help you decide if you would take the job if offered. Hold off asking the “will I take the job” questions until after you know it will be offered. Asking these questions too early can turn the interviewer off and kill you chances of getting the offer.
Interviewers can’t tolerate arrogance; “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions” yet 44% of HR Managers cite arrogance as job candidates greatest interview killing mistake. So it is OK to think your the best candidate for the job just don’t beat the interviewer over the head with your confidence.
Often you will be asked to fill out a job application in addition to submitting a resume. Are the two documents consistent or do they appear “fuzzy” and inconsistent. Filling out the job application is not a closed book test you can refer to your resume. Make sure all the dates of employment line up and your education is the same on both documents. Employers are wary of people lying on their resume, don’t give them cause for concern and kill your interview.
Ears Button Up Syndrome:
Are your ears fully open and listening to what the interviewer is saying and asking? Listen carefully particularly for the critical job requirements. You will need to understand the requirements to link your background and skills to the requirements. Make sure you listen to questions and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond. If you are unclear about the question, ask for clarification. The most common mistake is starting to answer a question in your head before hearing the whole question and then carefully considering your answer. If your ears button up, you will answer the wrong question and that is an interview killer.
“If you done it, it ain’t bragging” (Walt Whitman).
There is no place for modesty in an interview. Modesty is for award dinners where you have already received the award. Interviews are a place to brag about your accomplishments and state clearly why you are the best candidate for the position. Being modest often leaves the interviewer unsure if you are the best candidate. Being modest in an interview is like a salesperson being hesitant to talk about how good their service is and why you should buy it. If the interviewer doesn’t think you are a good “service” they will not hire you.