Why you may be bombing your interviews

People who have worked for or with me in the past, know I am very passionate about interviewing. I have provided career coaching for 10+ years, six years as a hiring manager, it still surprises me how many times people still bomb interviews. There are hundreds of books, online sites, and coaches willing to help prepare you for an interview but people still bomb them. Here are few reasons why many people don’t move beyond the interview phase to the job offer.

You don’t do your research

When you are called in for an interview, the employer wants to know not only can you do the job but why do you want to work for them. Employers know you can go other places to do the same job they are hiring for but they’d like to know why you have chosen to apply for their opening. You can demonstrate your interest by doing thorough research on the company and mention your research during your interview answers. Here are a few ways to conduct research:

1.      Research the company website

2.      Research the department website, if one is available

3.      Read their Annual Report, if one is available

4.      Google the company/industry to see recent trends

5.      Conduct an informational interview with someone who does or used to work there

You don’t tailor your interview answers towards the job

When you are in an interview, employers want to know about your strengths, past experiences, and education, as it relates to the position. If the company says “Tell me about yourself” and you discuss how you are married with two kids, enjoy traveling, and are from Chicago, you’ve missed the perfect opportunity to tell the employer why they should hire you over someone else. With each question you are asked, you should think about your answer as it relates to the position or company. So the question “Tell me about yourself”, is a time for you to mention your skills, education, and experience as it relates to the job you are interviewing for that day.

 You are so nervous your true personality doesn’t come through

It’s normal to be nervous for an interview but employers would like to get to know you to see if you would be a good fit for their team. If you are so nervous that you can’t show your true personality, the employer may make judgments about you that aren’t true. I once had a candidate was extremely nervous and kept telling us how nervous she was. She almost did not move forward in the interview process due to her extreme nervousness and her comments. If an interview turns into a conversation and you feel like you are talking to an old friend, that is a good sign. When I was a hiring manager interviewing candidates, it was always a good size when we could joke and laugh with the candidates.

You really don’t want the job or to work for the company

Now this one could be a blessing in disguise. Reading a job posting and researching a company can only tell you so much. Once you get into the interview, you might find that you wouldn’t like the job or company after speaking to the interviewers. Perhaps you applied to the position because you just needed a job. Or you liked the job description but you wouldn’t fit into the company culture. Once we interviewed an individual who had a great background but based on her answers in the interview, we didn’t believe she would be very unhappy with our company instead we chose to go with a less experienced person who was a better fit for our company culture.

Assume the employer has memorized your resume

Employers look at your resume to decide if they are going to invite you to the interview but that doesn’t mean they have memorized it. It is possible that some members of the hiring committee looked at your resume right before your interview. Therefore, you will want to verbally explain why the employer should hire you, even if the information is already on your resume. I am a little embarrassed to say but I was a hiring manager for six years, my schedule was booked with meetings back to back and I rarely had time prior to candidate interviews. Most of the time I looked a candidate resume for about 1-2 minutes when they applied to the online job posting and then right before the interview for a minute or two. It was important to me, as a hiring manager, that someone could verbally communicate why I should hire them.

There’s still hope! If you’re in the middle of an interview and you feel like you are bombing it, you don’t have to give up. A friend of mine was in the middle of an interview and she knew she wasn’t doing well. At the end of the interview, she told the employer, there are three things I would like to leave you with…she then proceeded to tell the employer three reasons why she should be hired. Because she provided three very good reasons and had a great background, she got the job.

Getting to the interview stage isn’t usually an easy task to do so you want to make sure if you get to this phrase, you are prepared. The one thing that is standing between you and your next job offer is the interview. If an employer has invited you to an interview they think you have the ability to do the job. It is your job to verbally tell the employer why they should hire you. A mock interview is one of the best ways to work on your interview skills. If you’d like to schedule a mock interview, visit Happiness Now today!

-Tamara SmallHappiness Now