7 Easy Fixes That Will Help You Ace Any Interview

Posted: 12/18/14 | Category: Interviewing

It seems you’ve hit a wall. Your qualifications earn you interview after interview. The interactions appear to go well, but then nothing comes of all your hard work and preparation. Somewhere along the line, a circuit gets interrupted and employers aren’t receiving the message that you’re right for the job. Chances are, all you need is to make one of these easy fixes to make yourself heard.

Limited Research Done In Advance

The basis of any good job interview depends on meticulous research. Employers want someone who has done the homework. Your knowledge doesn’t need to be encyclopedic, but you should be well-versed in the basics including their services, industry challenges, team values, and even working style.

The overall interview is easier when you do. Research can help you achieve all of the following:

• Select responses and examples that better fit the company’s values and challenges
• Brainstorm new solutions to address their challenges right off the bat
• Generate more in-depth questions to ask (superficial questions can squash your chances)
• Determine whether the job is right for you

All of that knowledge can prove your worth from the start.

Bad Body Language

Wandering eyes? A hunched posture? Nervous tapping of your feet? Your physical demeanor has more influence than you’d imagine. Since 55% of any message is conveyed through body language, you can’t afford to send out signals that undermine you.

The fixes to these interview mistakes are simple enough.

• Create comfortable eye contact. Don’t mercilessly lock eyes with the interviewer. Good eye contact can break with glances to the forehead or smile.
• Good posture is balanced between slouching and ramrod rigidity. Relax your shoulders. Keep your eyes forward and your feet flat on the floor.
• Make a conscious effort to smile. You’re excited for the job. Why not show it.

Lack of Confidence

An aura of confidence doesn’t come from just one factor. It takes good body language, a sharp appearance, assurance in your voice, and practiced interview responses.

Whenever each of these aspects is at its best, you’ll have a mixture that can act as a salve for any concern the employer might have. 

Generic Interview Answers

Most hiring managers don’t break new ground in the interview. They stick to gold standard interview questions and get the answers they need. For candidates, however, unchanging responses don’t work.

Every part of the interview should be customized. Even if you have an incredible story that shows your skills in action, never treat it like your lucky mitt. Be flexible. If another example better fits the skills and personality traits this employer values most (check the official job description), then use it instead.

Your Greatest Weaknesses

Openly talking about your weaknesses can be intimidating in a job interview. Many job seekers take the question to mean, “why shouldn’t I hire somebody else.” That’s where most go wrong. That interview mistake prevents them from using that weakness to their benefit.

Plenty of successful people have weaknesses. Where they differ from the unsuccessful is that they take action to overcome those weakness. Pick a weakness that you’ve taken steps to overcome. Then, explain how you’ve done it and elevate your results. The actual weakness will barely register at all. 

Too Comfortable Too Soon

This interview mistake poisons the well before you even get a chance to draw water. Of course, you want to be yourself. However, it should be your best self. No disparaging former bosses. No airing out skeletons in your closet. And no digging for the interviewer’s personal details.

No Follow Up

Following up isn’t just the icing on the cake. When the talents and temperament of candidates are evenly matched, a simple reminder you want the job can make the difference.

Before you leave the interview, ask when you should expect to hear back. If that date comes and goes, send a short and friendly message. In it, reassert your interest in the job and reflect back on a key point from the interview. In that moment, you can make the choice clear as day.

by James Walsh

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