The three most important questions asked by an interviewer are almost always:
â€œCan you do this job?â€
â€œDo you want this job?â€ and
â€œWill you fit in with the rest of the staff?â€
You can avoid inadvertently answering these questions with a â€œNoâ€ by avoiding some easy mistakes:
Failure to Demonstrate an Understanding
It may seem obvious but make sure you are thoroughly prepared for the interview by researching the role, the company and the industry they are in. Find out their history, achievements, products, services and customers as well as research the wider aspects of their sector. Really do your homework and look for relevant industry blogs, their website and/or LinkedIn page, and any other social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to get a real feel for the company.
At the interview, be sure to ask intelligent and thought out questions to show your enthusiasm and desire to make a difference for the company. Ask about the responsibilities and priorities of the role and how it affects the rest of the organization.
Inefficient Explanation of How You Did Something
Itâ€™s easy to reel off your skills and experience â€“ go one step further and prove that youâ€™re ideal for the job by recounting past demonstrations and examples that match the jobâ€™s requirements. If youâ€™re worried about delivery, try practicing your story-telling to a friend or in front of a mirror.
You should already have these examples in your rÃ©sumÃ©, so make sure that you expand on them and give them some more weight in the interview. Practicing beforehand will ensure that youâ€™re less likely to stumble and forget the crucial details.
Not Showing Why You Want the Job
Failure to demonstrate enthusiasm will dramatically lower your chances of getting the job. You must convince the interviewer that the company and the role appeal to you. When asked to â€œtell me about yourselfâ€, explain how your background is ideal for the job. Make sure that youâ€™re completely transparent when asked about your future plans; never give an answer thatâ€™s too vague or over-ambitious.
Genuine enthusiasm is of paramount importance. Even if nerves get the better of you, and you lose your composure, the interview will be a success providing you showed devotion and interest in the company and the role. Try and keep body language positive exuding confidence when you walk, sit and answer the interviewerâ€™s questions.
If asked a question about a previous employer, try to keep criticisms and complaints to yourself. You want to give a professional impression – one of a committed team-player, not a backstabber.
E-mailing a brief thank you note can really help remind the interviewer of your strengths and selling points as well as reiterate why you want the job. If it passes the time that you were expecting a call back, donâ€™t be afraid to follow up. This can demonstrate your passion as well as organization skills.
Dane Cross writes on behalf of Marler Haley, a supplier of display boards for job fairs and trade shows.