It is the summer time and a perfect time to talk about interviewing.
Why, you may ask?
It is a time when we working women start to go on vacation and think about our next steps. The kids are out of school or in camp and our brains are busier than ever. We start to wonder about what is next and how we will get there. For this month we will discuss interviewing tactics. I will provide you with the tips you need to be successful on your next interview.
First, let’s talk about mistakes I have seen during job interviews. You want to do your best. At all costs, avoid these mistakes during your job interview:
1. Avoiding shaking hands
It is surprising how few people understand the common courtesy and symbol of respect of shaking hands. Shaking hands is something men customarily do when they meet one another. In today’s world, it is also customary for women to shake hands when they meet. In a business situation, both men and women should stand up to shake hands with one another. Make sure the web of your right hand touches the web of the other person’s hand.
2. Avoiding eye contact
When you avoid eye contact with someone, you look as if you have something shady about you that you want to hide. In the American culture, it is considered a sign of honesty to look someone in the eye. When you talk to your potential employer, look them in the eye. You do not have to look like you are trying to hypnotize them by staring at them; you should break eye contact occasionally by looking to the right or left. Try to avoid looking up. Be sure to look them in the eye when you answer their questions.
3. Acting nervous
No one likes someone without self-confidence. You may blow your chances for a job if you act as if you have no confidence at all. Trust me, the interviewing party knows it is a common practice to be nervous. Acting nervous by twisting your hands, stammering your words, tapping the table, playing with a pen, or twirling your hair will give your potential employer the signal that you are not a person who is sure of themselves.
4. Falling for bait questions
Employers will often ask questions like, “What is your biggest weakness?” This is a bait question. You should never admit all faults when you are on a job interview. However, it is okay to tell a couple. They are testing you to see if you are human or if you think you are without fault. If you want to ace the job interview and not blunder it, state a minor weakness and how you are working on it in a positive sense. For example, your biggest weakness can be that you work too hard, but you are learning how to have work-life harmony. One of the biggest mistakes that people make on an interview is to answer this question too honestly by saying, “I can’t get to work on time.” Please don’t say this.
5. Badmouthing your ex-employer
Just like you shouldn’t badmouth your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend when you meet a new person who you want to date, you shouldn’t badmouth your current or soon to be ex-employer either. Never say anything bad about your former employer when you are on a job interview. If they ask why you are looking to leave simply state you are seeking career development and job growth.
Avoid these mistakes when you are on a job interview, and you just may ace the interview and get the job you dream of.
Have you made any of these mistakes? Please share…
Check out the Working Woman Video Series to accompany this post.
Keep winning and creating harmony in your life.
Marla J. Albertie
Your Life Harmonizing Strategist
Marla, these are all good points! As a hiring manager I do place weight on hand shake, eye contact, negative comments about current or past employers. Hand shake must be firm. Avoid 3 finger hand shakes. Hand shakes and eye contact says a lot about confidence. I do expect people to be nervous but controlled. I do ask about challenges and strengths. For me, it’s meant to measure transparency not pass judgement. If someone says they have no challenges, I’m a bit concerned. I follow up with how they overcome it. That’s important.
Yes, Yes, Yes! Don’t you just hate the three finger handshakes! Ughhh. Thank you for your input and reading.