3 Reasons why you are failing your interview
You have been invited to the interview. Congratulations! Now you have your opportunity to give it your best shot. Are you prepared? More often than not, my colleagues and I have seen candidates with great resumes come in and fall flat. Interviews can be intimidating, but I remember an old high school teacher always reminding students before an exam that “Persistent practice promotes perfect performance.” To do well in an interview, you can adapt a similar principle by being aware of your weaknesses, continuously practicing and then perform. As you prepare, here are some common reasons candidates fail:
1. You didn’t do your research
To survive in this age of job search you have to be more informed, quicker, and more creative than the next candidate. One key way to get ahead is to do good old fashioned research. Yes. I said research. Among the first questions asked in almost every interview requires the candidate to communicate their knowledge of the company and or the position. Can you imagine how refreshing it is to hear a candidate expound on what they know about the company, the role and why they are a good fit? It is almost always a great way to leave a strong favorable impression. It is so unfortunate the number of candidates that actually do their research and come to the interview informed is so small. Interviews are never a surprise; you almost always have time to prepare. Ensure that you capitalize on this opportunity.
2. You didn’t deliver
There are hundreds and thousands of applicants per job ad. You have managed to make it past the initial screen and on to the next round of eliminations. The interview is your up close and personal time with the company by meeting with possibly the hiring manager and human resources. How are you going to use this time to your advantage? At the very least you need to have:
- Your elevator pitch
- Your strengths and weaknesses with examples
- Your related experiences
Interviewers generally understand nervousness and that is one of the reasons practice is so important. However, that being said, in this day and age, there is very little tolerance for candidates who are unable to stay on point, articulate their experiences and who generally cannot answer questions. If you are consistently exiting the recruitment process after the first interview, you should get someone to give you some constructive feedback or talk to a career coach. Your ability to deliver is crucial to you leaving a positive impression and moving to the next stage.
3. You were unprepared and unprofessional
For many, arriving on time, appropriately dressed, knowing the person you will be meeting, the role you applied for and maintaining a professional demeanor are basic interview expectations. However, despite how many people consider this common knowledge, there are still many people who have forgotten one or all of those expectations. I always encourage clients that at the very least, you should be courteous, professional and respectful. One key way to start off that way is to arrive on time. No exceptions. If you are running late, communicate as soon as you know. However, do everything you can to prevent that from happening. Walk on the side of caution and always dress and act professionally. Recently I had a candidate relate a story where his superior swore. There are so many ways to articulate the fact that someone swore instead of actually swearing in the interview. He chose to share the story verbatim. No matter how comfortable you get in the interview, it is still an interview. This should not discourage you from being pleasant, personable or letting your hair down, but be cautioned to never move out of the realm of professionalism.
Making it to the interview it itself is an achievement. Don’t let yourself get in the way and prevent you from being able to make the best of the opportunity. If you do not make it to the next round it should because the other person was really that much better. Take your time to do your research, practice your interview for a flawless delivery and maintain your professionalism. All the best on your next interview.