Body Language Expert, Professional Speaker, Author, Media Authority, Spokes Person, Corporate Consultant, Trainer and Coach.
Patti speaks to Fortune 500 Companies, Associations, and Universities on: Body Language, Deception Detection, Selling, Interviewing, Public Speaking, First Impressions, Conflict Management and more.
She also consults with Law Enforcement and the Media on the Body Language of Celebrities, Politicians and Suspects.
Book Patti to speak at her website Patti@PattiWood.net
Job Interview Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them
Job Interview Mistakes
and Tips to Avoid Them
I was recently
interviewed by Monster.com on interviewing mistakes. Here is the full article.
For more information on body language for interviews you can get my book, “SNAP
Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma.”
7 Rookie Job Interview
Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Nail the Audition by Avoiding These Common Snafus
By Daniel Bortz | October 13, 2015
Many recent college
graduates flunk their first job interview. In fact, that’s an understatement,
according to an Office Team survey that asked senior managers to recount
the most embarrassing interview mistakes they’ve witnessed.
Some of the more cringe-worthy stories: an interviewee was so nervous she
almost fainted; one dude fell asleep; one candidate even did a song-and-dance
routine in hopes of getting the job (err, the performance didn’t go so well).
The list goes on.
However, the most common job interview blunders are less jaw-dropping. To ace the audition, avoid these rookie slipups. 1. Forgetting to do your homework
It sounds basic, but many job seekers don’t sufficiently research the company
ahead of time, says Belinda Plutz, founder of the New York-based Career Mentors
“So many people look at the job posting and the company’s website but don’t dig deeper,” she says.
Start with a simple Google search for recent news about the organization; a new client
acquisition, for example, is a good talking point. Study the company’s
competition and stay on top of industry news, advises Plutz.
Social media is also a good source for current information about the company,
says Atlanta career coach Hallie Crawford, so review the company’s recent
tweets and Facebook posts. 2. Walking in unprepared
Call ahead to find out specifics, including what to bring, and how long you should plan to be there.
“If they say 30 minutes and you’re out in two hours, you know it went well,”
Ask whom you’ll be meeting with so you can gather intel on each person. Check
their LinkedIn and mention commonalities (same alma mater?) or interesting
projects the person has worked on. Don’t worry about coming across as a
“LinkedIn is public for a reason,” says Crawford. “Today’s managers expect you
to look them up ahead of time.” 3. Reciting scripts
It’s prudent to prepare responses to common questions (e.g., “Tell me about
yourself”), but don’t be robotic. Instead of memorizing answers and repeating
them line-by-line, focus on the overall concept.
“It’s like giving a good PowerPoint presentation,” says Crawford. “You have your talking
points, but every time you present it, it’s a little different.” 4. Asking the wrong questions, or (gasp!) none at all
You’re there to be interviewed, but take advantage of the face time by asking thoughtful questions. Avoid run-of-the-mill queries so you stand
Limit yourself to three questions, since the hiring manager’s time is finite.
Find out whether it’s a new position.
“If it’s brand new, ask why they created the job,” advises Plutz. If you’re
replacing someone, ask why the person left or why they got promoted, and
whether it’s the company’s preference to promote from within.
Crawford recommends inquiring about the expectations for the first 30, 60, and
90 days. “You’ll get a flavor of what the job is like without being mundane and
asking, ‘What’s a typical day like?’” she says.
Last, pose a question that establishes a personal connection with the hiring
manager; for example, “I saw from LinkedIn you’ve been here for four years.
What has your experience been like?” 5. Overlooking
your body language Nonverbal communication can create a great first impression—or immediately
turn off a hiring manager. “When we talk about getting a gut feeling about
someone, what we’re really talking about is reading his or her nonverbal cues
[subconsciously],” says Atlanta-based body language expert Patti Wood. To improve your posture and eye contact, role-play the interview with a
friend. Also, make sure you have a firm handshake—research shows that if it’s
weak or flaccid, the hiring manager might assume you lack confidence. Don’t be stiff, says Wood, who recommends occasionally leaning forward with
your head, upper torso, or whole body to show you’re interested in what the interviewer
is saying, and remember to smile. 6. Talking salary
An initial interview isn’t the right time to discuss compensation unless the
hiring manager broaches the subject. The same goes for benefits like vacation
days, telecommuting options, and flex-time, which “aren’t relevant until
they’re more serious about hiring you,” says Crawford. Save those topics for
the final interview. 7. Botching the follow-up
Set expectations at the end of the interview three questions: “What’s the next
step in the process?” “When do you want to bring someone on board?” and “How
should I follow up with you?”
Instead of relying on your memory, Plutz says make notes of what you spoke
about immediately after the interview and send a short thank-you email within
48 hours that cites specifics from the conversation (e.g., “The way you
described the company culture really resonated with me”).
Give references a heads-up they might be hearing from the company and supply each person with an updated resume, says Crawford.
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.