We all agree interviews are stressful. In fact, they may even be most nerve-racking for top performers who rarely look for new employment and lack extensive interviewing experience. Roughly 118 candidates will apply for a job opening, of that a mere 4% will be granted the coveted onsite interview. The interview is bestowed to only a precious few applicants. Before you head out to your next interview, consider avoiding these 3 common interview blunders.
1. Knock Your Former Employer
This never ends well – knocking your former employer to a potential employer is a disastrous misstep. Your potential future employer doesn’t want to hear you speak negatively or misrepresent a company that you work(ed) for. Beware, some interviewers will dive deeper with several questions surrounding why you are looking for a new positions. Be prepared to answer those tough questions with a thoughtful response that doesn’t involve negative language around your current or former employer. Instead think about pointing out a positive of your current role before getting to the reasons behind your job search. An example would be “I am engaged in my current role and enjoy the company culture; however for the past six months I have felt that opportunities for future growth and continuous learning are dwindling.”
2. ”Do Not Say “Honestly” or “Truthfully”
This leads the employer to think that other times you aren’t being honest or truthful – while it may not disqualify you from attaining the offer, it does plant a seed of doubt to a skilled interviewer. If you are meeting with an HR professional or a Corporate Recruiter I can assure you that they notice and are taking note. Avoid qualifying a response with honestly or truthfully. It is easy to stumble over words during an interview but these are two that you should avoid at all costs.
3. “I Think You Answered All My Questions”
The interview winds down and the interviewer turns things over to you for the quintessential final question: “do you have any questions for me?” You pause and answer “I think you covered them all.” This is not what the interviewer wants to hear.
Even if they did in fact cover all your questions, which is hardly ever the case, having a lack of questions or wanting clarity can lead the interviewer to assume you aren’t engaged, don’t want to attain a deeper understanding for the role / organization or just want to get out of the interview. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask questions about the company, position, culture or the interviewer.
When I have a candidate heading to an interview that asks for resources or prep guides I always advise them to ask the interviewer this simple, often overlooked question; “how long have you been with the company?” It is an easy question to ask and it tells you so much about the individual, their career position, job changes and longevity. It also give you the opportunity to engage with the interviewer and dig deeper regarding aspects of their answer you might be curious to understand better. This also builds a personal connection to your interviewer.
Searching for a new position and navigating the interview process is challenging, by avoiding these three common interview blunders you can stay focused on your capabilities and land an offer for employment.