April 17, 2019

Don’t Make Rookie Interview Mistakes

By B&SC Career Services Team

Don’t Make Rookie Interview Mistakes

Got your first interview coming up? Don’t be tempted to wing it. As competitive as the job market is these days, coming across as uninterested, unprofessional or unprepared during the interview will prove to be a big mistake. Here are three common interview mistakes and how to avoid them.

Being uninterested

Let’s face it, many of us move through life at warp speed these days. With so many demands, such as school, work, family, and a dire need to keep our social media followers updated, we are multitasking all over the place. Maybe multitasking works effectively in some situations, but in job interviews, it simply does not.

Francina Harrison, MSW, also known as The Career Engineer (http://TCEnow.com), has seen candidates check their watches, not silence their phones, appear rushed and act like there was someplace else they’d rather be.

“I was shocked that a candidate in today’s market would be so careless and [display] these behaviors. If you can’t make quality time to interview, how will you invest in quality time on the job?” she said.

Being unprofessional

Social media has fueled a lot of casual interaction that takes away from the formality of the professional world. Newcomers to the business world must show that they know the boundaries when it comes to business, casual and personal interaction.

Furthermore, job candidates must show they can hold a professional conversation – one that is balanced with talking and listening, and that is focused on the topic at-hand. After a brief period of small talk at the start of the interview, everything discussed should be succinct in delivery and related to how you are the perfect person for the job.

“One mistake recent college graduates might make is volunteering too much information,” said Harrison. “Instead of just answering the question, candidates keep talking and talking until they have talked themselves out of a job opportunity,” she said.

Being unprepared

Experts suggest researching the company: explore websites; read trade magazines and news articles; and follow social media sites. But, don’t stop there. You must also be able to hold an interesting and well-informed conversation about what you found. Take time to sit down and think about the discussion you could have around those topics. Don’t tell employers what they already know, like the mission statement. Instead, try to understand how the department or position fits into it that mission and talk about what in your background has prepared you to contribute to it.

Also, when asked if you have any questions, don’t say ‘no’ and don’t ask about benefits. Ask a question or two about the position expectations and then use your research again. For example, I read about the company plans to expand the community projects. What types of projects are being considered that my department might contribute to? Then, tie in your experience one more time.

“It’s a hyper-competitive market on a worldwide scale. Most college programs share skills in ‘traditional’ interviewing and obtaining careers,” Harrison. “But in this 21st century economy, power branding, sales and marketing of your career-related value is the name of the game.”

When all is said and done, don’t forget to seal the deal.

“Ask for the opportunity in an authentic and professional way,” said Harrison.

Bryant & Stratton College offers career services for all our students to help them put their best foot forward into the job market. Not a student? For information on how we can help you get started toward a new career, contact the Admissions office.

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