Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 12:07 pm | A Few Clouds 61º


John Daly: Top 10 Most Common Job Interview Mistakes, Plus 25!


A recent survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers revealed the 10 most common mistakes job candidates make during a job interview.

Here they are, unveiled in David Letterman style:

10. Over-explaining why you lost your last job

9. Conveying that you are not over it

8. Lacking humor, warmth or personality

7. Not showing enough interest or enthusiasm

6. Inadequate research about a potential employer — lack of preparation

5. Concentrating too much on what you want rather than what you can do for the company

4. Trying to be all things to all people

3. “Winging” the interview

2. Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates

1. Failing to ask for the job!

The Finer Details

The little things really do matter. You need to make the interviewer’s day! Why? Because he or she will want to nurture that relationship and hire you. One hiring manager assured us that if a job candidate makes her feel good about herself, then she knows that the candidate will make her clients feel good about themselves as well. That’s what it’s all about. This is how a job candidate can make himself stand out from the pack.

While I’ve listed the 10 most common interview mistakes, the finer details are well worth reviewing. So, here are 25 more!

» Failing to confirm the day/time/place of the interview

» Being late and failing to call ahead

» Failing to state your name clearly, not repeating the name of the interviewer to ensure that it is being pronounced correctly, or not using the interviewer’s name frequently throughout the interview (people love to hear their names, and there is a huge positive psychological effect when they hear it from the candidate

» Failing to acknowledge and respect the support staff, including security, the receptionist, the secretary or others encountered on your way in. The interviewer may ask their impressions of you.

» Not bringing the necessary documents — several copies of your résumé, portfolio and completed application (if required)

» Not standing up to greet the interviewer or anyone else who enters the room during the interview. This is a sign of respect

» A poor handshake with no eye contact

» Failing to turn off cell phones, smartphones and any devices that might interrupt the interview with rings, dings, beeps, chimes, vibrations or other noise, and even, worse, using one’s personal device during the interview

» A lack of focus and eye contact; being distracted

» Not dressing appropriately or showing good personal hygiene along with poor attention to detail; e.g., unpolished shoes; threads hanging from clothing

» Forgetting to smile

» Poor enunciation and too many “um”s

» Being uncomfortable or uneasy and not being “in the moment” to connect or inspire — little or no cultivation of a strong personal presence

» Having no awareness of the environment and its people

» Not knowing how you will respond to specific questions

» Not having three questions prepared about the company

» Being negative or dishonest

» Interrupting the interviewer but not showing good grace if you are interrupted

» Providing too much unnecessary information — over-answering the question, prattling on and on or not really listening to the question and thinking about the response

» Just blurting out something as soon as the interviewer stops talking because you’re nervous

» Pretending to understand something you do not

» Lacking a personal online presence

» Wearing sunglasses during the interview

» Not using caution when posing questions about advancement and compensation; save questions about vacations, sick days, etc., for the HR representative

» Failing to thank the interviewer in person at the end of the interview session

And, of course, after the interview, always, always prepare and send a handwritten thank you note. Take advantage of sending the note to make a statement about what you feel you can do for the company and how much you would love to work for it!

Great Video Information

(CareerBuilder video)

Social Life Skills 101

Want the Keys to lifelong success for your children? The Key Class will teach them Social Life Skills 101!

Register your child for The Key Class today! Just four classes — on table manners, meet and greet, respect and making others at ease with them. For those seeking jobs, we’ll teach how to create résumés and cover letters!

Held from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St.

Click here to register online, or contact John Daly at 805.452.2747
 or [email protected].

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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