Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Don't Say That!": Innovative Ways to Bomb That First Interview

       You've been on the job hunt for a while, submitting resumes and reaching out to your networks for tips on openings and future opportunities. So you're no amateur when it comes to looking for that perfect job. But for some reason, you haven't been getting many offers - even though you've been getting your foot in the door for interviews.
         Keep in mind, there are some things you should never talk about during a first interview. For instance, we all know you shouldn't ever trash a previous employer. But what about some of the less talked about mistakes you may be making? If you've been guilty of any of these in the past, it might explain why you haven't been able to close the deal:
        Uttering the Phrase "I Don't Know" When it Comes to Questions About You: Some people just aren't comfortable talking about themselves. We've been taught that being humble is an admirable trait and as a result, we struggle with bragging. But if there was ever a situation that called for touting some of your greatest accomplishments, an interview is it. So it's time to brush up on all you have to offer, because it simply isn't acceptable to provide an "I Don't Know" response when asked what your greatest contribution was to your previous company or what the financial gain was on your most recent project. Not only should you know all the answers to questions about you and your work history, but you should be able to quickly provide them when asked.
        Admitting You Don't Know Much About This Company or the Opening: If you've been looking for a while, it's possible you have been submitting resumes without even fully reading the job descriptions anymore. That's fine, but if you get a call for an interview - it's time to do your research. Look into the company you are interviewing with and brush up on the specifics of the job as well. This will allow you to present yourself to hiring managers as someone who is uniquely qualified to fill this role and who is especially excited about the opportunity to join their team. 
        Asking About Money or Benefits: Don't put your cart in front of your horse by asking about compensation or benefits before a job offer has even been made. Not only can this come off as over-eager, but it gives the impression that your willingness to take a job is dependent upon what you can get out of it. While this may be the case, you want to remember that hiring managers are looking for candidates who are specifically excited about being a part of their organization or about taking on the challenges of a new role. So leave the monetary talks for the negotiation stage, where you will have plenty of opportunities to find out what's on the table. 

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