Monday 18 February 2019

7 REAL ways you could be messing up your own interview

Are you struggling in the interview process?  Does the thought of an interview stress you out?  Do you feel that you possess all the skills and knowledge to perform in a role, however, you bomb out in the interview process?  You never get called back for a second interview and nobody tells you why? 
Here are 7 ways you could be getting in your own way.

1.  Yoput yourself in a lower position to the interviewer

      Know your worth!  As much as you are looking for a new position, the company you are interviewing with is also looking for the right person. You are looking and so are they.  Equal the playing fields by presenting yourself in a confident manner that shows you know what value you bring to an organisation.  If you don’t see it, neither will they.

2.  You oversell yourself

You may not even be conscious that you do this, and often it's because you are nervous. This often comes with endless talking about yourself and how good you are.   You hardly take the time to listen to what is actually being asked of you or fail to ask relevant questions that show a genuine interest in understanding the role or the business objectives.  You can be viewed as either arrogant or desperate – neither leave a positive impression.  Here interview coaching can really pay off, as you will get constructive feedback, from an objective point of view, on how to handle yourself in the interview.

3.  You are vague in demonstrating your capabilities and achievements

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that people know how you do what you do.  If you can’t provide context and make it relevant to the role you are being interviewed for, you are not going to be shortlisted to go to the next level.  Here your interviewing skills are critical in making sure your interviewer understands your abilities and your value.

4.  You fail to ask the right questions

The interview process swings between being interviewed and you doing the interviewing – after all, you are also looking to see if the role and organisation is a good fit for you, right?  Know your worth, know strengths, know your not-so-good skills, know where you add value and know your "deal-breakers".  Work on your own interviewing skills.  If you are not asking questions that address all of these key aspects, you are potentially setting yourself up for unpleasant surprises.  You have to take responsibility for your participation in the interview process.

5.  You lack self-awareness

You have gone for a number of interviews and are failing to get the role you want or are just not being called back after the first interview.  Consider that there may be a problem in how you are presenting yourself.  Is there alignment with your CV and your personal presentation?  If you are being called for an interview, something in your CV has caught the interviewers attention.  If you are failing in the interview, there is a misalignment in some way or form.  You either need to improve your interview skills or you are misrepresenting yourself in your CV.  You need to get honest feedback and be open to changing how you present yourself, both on paper and in person.

6.  You have difficulty answering sensitive questions

Here’s a couple of scenarios: You have a jumpy work history, you have been dismissed, you have been retrenched, or you have left an organisation on not-so-good terms.  You may have an issue with an organisation that is in direct conflict with your values and ethics.  You have to be clear in your mind about what it is and what strategy you will take in addressing these questions. These discussions cannot dominate the interview.  You need to nip it in the bud and focus on your value proposition.

7.  You focus on negative work experience or have negative reasons for your unemployment

No matter how negative a work or no-work experience is, you need to demonstrate that you gained something positive out of the experience.  Good organisations will not want any negativity in their organisation.  These people are known as blamers, shamers and complainers – it would be wise to avoid portraying any negativity in the interview.  People tend to remember the negative aspects more than the positive, so be conscious of how people may be perceiving you.

The bottom line is that it is a very competitive market out there.  If you want to get to the next level in your career and find a meaningful and fulfilling job, you have to take responsibility for yourself and how you are positioning yourself to get it.  This is where interview preparation really pays off.  If you don’t, it is guaranteed that somebody else will. 

At TDT & Associates we offer personalised interview coaching services that will help you get clarity on your value proposition and how to position yourself with confidence.  Check out our interview coaching services here. We look forward to working with you.

Get out of your own way and stand out!