7 Ways To Fail A Job Interview

So you’re tired of your current role, want more money, maybe you’re looking to relocate. Whatever it is, you’re so ready to jump. You’ve been submitting resumes left and right and pressing send on so many cover letters your hand is now permanently shaped like your mouse. And finally, it happens! A bite.

A recruiter at <insert company name here> just called and booked you for an interview. It&rsquo;s game time.

Fast forward a few weeks later and you&rsquo;re emailing and calling and sending carrier pigeons to follow-up. No response. And then, you get the template email telling you “we’ve&nbsp;decided to go with another candidate, sorry chump.&rdquo; What the heck just happened? You thought they liked you!
My friend, you failed the interview.
While I&rsquo;d like to say that perhaps your only fault was being a teeny tiny bit less awesome than the candidate who beat you out, that&rsquo;s usually not the case. In fact, from my experience in interviewing, there always seems to be one candidate that stands out and wins by a landslide. The divide between first and second choice is often, surprisingly, a big one.
If you&rsquo;re interviewing often, you might need to up your game a bit and read through the list of interview fails below (some&nbsp;I’ve&nbsp;witnessed and some&nbsp;I’ve&nbsp;personally executed myself). If&nbsp;you’ve&nbsp;done any of these, it could be why you&rsquo;re still interviewing.
Here are a few things that the number one candidates don&rsquo;t struggle with in interviews.
Bad manners.
This one is so silly I decided to put it at the top of the list.&nbsp;I’ve&nbsp;got a long list of transgressions here so I&rsquo;ll just give you a few examples.
Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, I love to chew gum and pop it (I actually&nbsp;didn’t&nbsp;know I did the “popping&rdquo; part until someone called me out on it recently, whoops). But I am not an interviewing-gum-chewer-and-popper. I came across one of those in an interview awhile back and I tried to concentrate to her words, I really did. But my ADD insisted I watch every smack of that gum and when she left, I&nbsp;didn’t&nbsp;remember one thing she said. She&nbsp;didn’t&nbsp;get the job.
Lateness.&nbsp;While I do claim proficiency in this department on a social level, even I&rsquo;m not late for interviews. What a way to display your awesomeness, by strolling in 15 minutes late to an interview. You will not get the job.
Your outfit.&nbsp;If you don&rsquo;t know the dress code in your wannabe office, then you should dress up &ndash; not down. Better yet, unless you&rsquo;re interviewing to work at a clown school, you should play it safe and get pretty. If they want you to be comfortable in an interview, they will actually tell you. Until then, stick with a suit. Anything less and you&rsquo;ll stick out like a sore thumb next to the dapper-looking other candidate who&nbsp;didn’t&nbsp;feel like being a slob that day.

You don&rsquo;t know anything about the company.

You can&rsquo;t walk into a business hoping they&rsquo;ll hire you and not know anything about it. It just can&rsquo;t happen. At minimum, you need to know about the job you&rsquo;re interviewing for and how your skills will apply. That means having a list (practice it) of reasons why you&rsquo;d be a great fit with their organisation.
Most companies will give you some great hints before you even walk in, they&rsquo;ll tell you who&rsquo;s interviewing you (so you can look them up on LinkedIn) and the job description will state some specifics about the department the position is in and who it reports to &ndash; you can use all of this in your research. Some companies will give you a run for your money and ask you crazy numbers questions (I&rsquo;m a writer, I call those questions crazy), or they&rsquo;ll ask what&nbsp;you’ve&nbsp;heard about them in the news (I once looked like a real winner by mentioning the biggest security breach in the history of their company). Have something good prepared, or get ready to fail.
You don&rsquo;t want the actual job you&rsquo;re interviewing for.
You need to display a sense of initiative in the interview, but some people take it a bit too far by talking about the next job they want, in the interview for the first job! No, don&rsquo;t do this.
While I think it&rsquo;s impressive when a candidate states that they aspire to have my job one day, I think it&rsquo;s a little less impressive when they want to spend the entire interview talking about it. (Or worse, giving me the slight inclination that if I hire them they may run me over in the parking lot to speed up the promotion). I&rsquo;m hiring for this role, not that role &ndash; so tell me why you want this one. Once you get hired, you can talk to me about your career goals and we&rsquo;ll map it out together.
I know there are a lot of people who take lesser jobs so they can get their foot in the door. This is a slow move, so you better be prepared to love the job you get, because you often won&rsquo;t get promoted fast and you will be angry and bitter about it. If you really don&rsquo;t want the actual job you&rsquo;re interviewing for, don&rsquo;t bother going to the interview.
Talk bad about your old boss.
I&rsquo;m slightly on the fence with this one, as I like to interview future bosses as much as they like to interview me (a few crappy bosses in your past will do that to you). I recommend you do this too, as you&rsquo;ll be spending the better part of your life with them for the next few years, you&rsquo;ll want to like them. But you have to be tactful about it. Meaning, you can&rsquo;t talk bad about your past.
Let&rsquo;s say hypothetically, I worked for a boss who never (I seriously mean never) let me eat on business trips. And that was her good side. I have lots of fun stories about her, but an interview is not the time to tell them. I save that stuff for happy hour&hellip;hypothetically.
I&rsquo;ll tell you the real reason why I don&rsquo;t want to hear someone talk bad about their last company. Because that person could have had one bad experience that jaded them &ndash; perhaps it was actually a great company and that particular person screwed up and was fired. Whatever the reason, I&rsquo;m hearing a preview of how that person translates their bad work experiences around town. Meh.

Ask the wrong questions. &nbsp;&nbsp;
A friend of mine just left a great medical position because she felt the company&rsquo;s unethical actions were putting her career and her good name were at risk. Understandably so, she wants to avoid working for another company like that. She&rsquo;s been through many interviews but&nbsp;hasn’t&nbsp;gotten any offers, so we dug into the “why&rdquo; a bit more. I find out she uses the last few minutes of her interviews asking very pointed questions about whether these potential employers care about ethics and procedures.
If you first open your interview by telling them you left your current company because you wanted more management experience, but then jump into the question round with, “Do you break laws around here?&rdquo; They&rsquo;re going to get suspicious. (Also, as I told my friend, no company will ever tell you they break laws &ndash; duh.)
The “Do you have any questions for us?&rdquo; question is not the time to let the potential employer peek behind the curtain of your career. So many people fall into this trap, and a smart interviewer will read through them and learn all the secrets of your past if you love asking these kinds of questions.
Maintain your message throughout. Find a way to get the information you need to make an educated decision on a job offer without giving away any negative facts about you.

You lied.

If I&rsquo;m looking at your resume that states you&rsquo;re still working for a company (six months after I know&nbsp;you’ve&nbsp;quit), I&rsquo;m not going to think you have a typo and forgot to mention it. I&rsquo;m going to think you&rsquo;re lying. You first need to make sure the information on your resume is accurate, (because when you get in the door on false pretenses, people will find out and like you much less), and then you need to address the job gap right away.
You can usually tell when an interviewer wants to know something specific. If you pick up that they want some specific information about your past, be honest. I&rsquo;ll speak for myself as a manager and say that candid and professional responses are actually impressive. Interviewers are human and they know you are too, so don&rsquo;t be scared to be one. Most of them also love to hire good people who can explain real situations, no matter how uncomfortable.
You&nbsp;didn’t&nbsp;wow them.

Don&rsquo;t be scared, introverts, this one won&rsquo;t hurt you. Wowing comes in a variety of ways. If you&rsquo;re asked about the last three books you read, please do not answer, “Oh, I don&rsquo;t read.&rdquo; (it still shocks me that people actually say that)
If you really desperately want this job and you&rsquo;re asked, “Would you be willing to learn how to do <blah blah>,&rdquo; you better answer with a “heck yes!&rdquo; Not say what&nbsp;I’ve&nbsp;heard before, “Ugh, I don&rsquo;t really like doing that.&rdquo;
Or if you come to an interview unprepared and with nothing in your hands &ndash; like a portfolio of some kind or a resume perhaps &ndash; you&rsquo;re going to have a tough time wowing the room.
Usually wowing just involves taking one extra step. Creating a snazzy portfolio which may or may not be opened in the interview, still looks pretty darn sharp sitting next to you on the table. Having nice, comfortable conversation with the interviewer and not being awkward or dry can also wow them. It&rsquo;s little things, but it&rsquo;s the extra things.
If you really want a job, do your research, practice and focus on not failing the interview. Then you can finally be the candidate that wins by a landslide.

[Source: www.forbes.com]

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