A job interview is like a first date in that making a good impression count. Yet awkward situations can arise and outcomes are unpredictable. From not knowing what questions you’re going to be asked to meeting new people for the first time, it’s normal to experience some anxiety because there are so many different variables. Fortunately, there are also plenty of things that you can control on your way to making a positive impression during an interview. Here are six common interview mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Showing up late. Even though scheduling conflicts can arise, one of the biggest mistakes that candidates still make is arriving late to an interview. Time management skills are especially important in construction careers and arriving late shows a lack in that department. We recommend arriving just 5-10 minutes early to show that you respect the hiring manager’s time.
- Not researching the company. Going into an interview with only limited knowledge of the company is a sure-fire way to get eliminated. Review the company’s website, blog, social channels, Glassdoor, and Wikipedia so you understand their culture and vision. Be prepared to explain how you fit their work culture.
- Showing a lack of enthusiasm. Don’t assume that your experience and credentials are the only things that you’ll need to impress interviewers. Some hiring managers opt for lesser qualified candidates that show more enthusiasm and potential for the position. Explain why you want to work for them and share how you can improve what they are already doing. Show your eagerness with good posture and maintain eye contact throughout the process. Be prepared to answer tough questions, like why you think you can do the job.
- Talking about parts of your background that are not important to the hiring manager. There are hundreds of things you can talk about but there is only a handful of things that will drive the hiring decision. Very early on in the conversion before you start talking about everything you’ve done, find out what is important to the hiring manager. Ask exactly what they are looking for and that is the part of the background you want to discuss.
- Failing to ask insightful questions. Ask thoughtful questions to show that you care about the job. But don’t get too personal, keep it professional and inquire about their work culture, what success looks like there, what the next steps in the hiring process are, etc.
- Forgetting to follow up. Always send a concise, personalized thank you email to the people that you met during the interview. Don’t be aggressive, but if you don’t hear back after a week, then send a follow-up message that reasserts your enthusiasm for the position.
Don’t depend on luck to receive a job offer. Start believing in yourself and focus more on avoiding these common mistakes. Put your best foot forward and remember, it’s a two way conversation for both sides to get to know each other.
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