3 Little Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Next Job Interview
October brings on all of our favorite fall things, like gorgeous foliage, PSL sippin’, and creative Halloween costumes. Plus, it’s the perfect time to prep for the upcoming holiday season! Turns out, job seekers also see October as an ideal time to get their ducks in a row; a recent study from LinkedIn shows that its the most popular month to find a new role. We caught up with Blair Decembrele, a LinkedIn career expert, to break down the top three mistakes people make in interviews, plus how to avoid ’em.
3 mistakes to avoid making
1. You didn’t dress to impress. According to Decembrele, first impressions truly matter. “Your interviewer will look at how you present yourself as soon as you walk in the room; in fact, nearly half of interviewers have eliminated a candidate because of unprofessional attire,” she explains. Since “dressing to impress” doesn’t necessarily mean you need a nice suit, reach out to someone in your network or social circle to ask what the dress code is before you go to interview — be it more casual clothes or a step up from your current work style. “If you can’t get the inside scoop, trust your gut and go for simple, polished, and comfortable,” Decembrele advises.”Unless you’re interviewing for a corporate job, a full suit may be unnecessary. If you’re questioning the length of your skirt, chances are it’s better to leave it in your closet!” She tells us to stay away from anything too flashy or trendy so the person interviewing you can focus on what you’re saying, not what you’re wearing.
2. You forgot to scrap the screen time. “One of the biggest mistakes is in the palm of your hand,” Decembrele says. “According to the new LinkedIn study, more than one third of interviewers cut a candidate for looking at their phone during the interview!” She says to remember that your interview is the single opportunity you have to be fully present — don’t waste it looking at a notification or text that can wait until later. “Make sure your interviewer knows the interview is your top priority and can see that you aren’t distracted,” she says. “Before heading into the interview, shut off your phone (rather than just switching to silent) and place it in your bag so it is out of sight and out of mind.”
3. You weren’t totally honest. Honesty really is the best policy. According to the LinkedIn study, more than half of US interviewers have turned down a candidate for lying about their previous work — yikes! Decembrele chimes in, “While it may be tempting to stretch the truth in order to impress, a job interview definitely isn’t the time to test out your acting skills.” She says to ditch the temptation to be dishonest by mastering the humble brag. “Share your accomplishments in a way that conveys highlights from your past experiences — what you’ve contributed, the result of your work, and the value and impact you’ve made.”
3 Ways to Impress
Decembrele tells us that doing these three things can help you get your foot in the door and, once you’re at an interview, totally shine.
1. Network your way in. “Never underestimate the value of a professional relationship,” Decembrele reminds us. “One in five (21 percent) hiring managers say personal recommendations are a top factor in evaluating potential candidates.”
2. Convey confidence. “More than a quarter (26 percent) of US interviewers prioritize the right body language in a candidate more than a degree from a top school (19 percent),” Decembrele tells us.
3. Speak to shared values. “Nearly one third (31 percent) of US interviewers agree that finding a candidate who has similar values to the company is a top factor,” Decembrele notes. “This is even more powerful than having strong knowledge of the company (18 percent).”
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(Photo via Getty)