You’ve crafted the perfect rÃ©sumÃ© and sent it out to the companies you’re interested in working for, and you’ve been called in for a dozen interviews. You’re off to a great start in your job search.
See Also: Top 10 Job Interview Deal Breakers
You start with the first interview and you’re convinced you did well: you provided powerful and memorable answers for every question that the hiring manager asked you, you offered excellent examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities, and you even the perfect handshake down to an art. However, a week passes, then two weeks, and you still haven’t heard back from them. Come to think of it, you never even heard back from the other 11 interviews you attended and that you were positive you aced.
A quick look at your phone’s settings to determine whether you’ve accidentally barred incoming calls, tells you that everything’s in working order. You ask your roommates if anybody left you any messages, but the only messages you received were from your mother. And you’ve double and triple-checked your e-mail inbox (and junk folder), but nada. So, what’s going on?
Well, it turns out that you could be failing at your job interviews without even realizing it.
1. You Don’t Have Manners
Not only are recruiters looking to hire the best talent with the best qualifications and skill sets, they’re also looking to hire someone with the social skills that would make them pleasant to work with eight hours a day, five days a week. And if you have the manners of a chimpanzee, your job application runs the risk of being discarded.
Chewing gum, for one, and then blowing a bubble, in any social setting is particularly rude, annoying, and distracting. The interviewer will most likely shift their focus from the answers you’re providing to their questions and will instead concentrate on your gum-chewing. Meanwhile, punctuality also matters and you should, therefore, aim to arrive for your interview about five to 10 minutes before it is scheduled to start. Keep the interviewer waiting for you, and you might as well not even show up.
If the only thing memorable about you to potential employers is your bad manners, then it’s safe to say that you didn’t get the job.
2. You Lie
Nobody likes a liar – especially one who lies ever so bluntly to people’s faces.
While a lot of us tend to tell a little white lie here or there to make ourselves look better or more likable, openly and so obviously lying to an interviewer is a surefire way to kill any chances you had at being offered the job. Any discrepancies between what you tell an interviewer and what they’ve read on your rÃ©sumÃ© or what your references had to say will only put you in a bad light.
Even if you’re confident that you’ll be able to get away with it, don’t, because if that “volunteering gig” you had during your freshman year turns out to be bogus, the interviewer will not view you very favorably as you’ll appear to be dishonest and, therefore, untrustworthy. Instead, be completely honest in your answers (and your rÃ©sumÃ©, for that matter), because a seemingly small lie can have massive repercussions for you and a potential job offer.
3. You Don’t Make Eye Contact
Never trust a man that won’t look you in the eye. And there’s a very good reason behind that statement.
In a 2014 Cornell University study, 63 participants were shown one of two versions of a Trix cereal box (the rabbit on the box looked straight at the viewer in one version, and looked down in the other), and found that brand trust was 16% higher when the rabbit made eye contact.
Making eye contact is consequently crucial if you want to build trust and form a connection with person sitting opposite you. You’ll convey confidence (a trait most interviewers find very impressive) and you’ll also appear to be genuinely interested in the conversation and, therefore, the job. Avoiding eye contact, on the other hand, makes you appear that you’re trying to hide something, and interviewers will then automatically distrust you.
4. You Ask the Wrong Questions (Or Don’t Ask Any at All)
“Do you have any questions for us?”
This is a great opportunity to ask the interviewer a few questions of your own (about company culture, career advancement opportunities, or whatever else that is especially important to you) so that you can determine whether you would like to work with them as much as they might want you to work for them. But there is such a thing as asking the wrong questions like “Does your company care about ethics and procedures?” which can be translated into “So, do you break any laws around here?”
Meanwhile, even if the interviewer covers everything you wanted to know, make sure you have at least a couple of questions as backup. Oftentimes, not having any questions to ask at the end of your interview can be a deal breaker as it shows disinterest in the position. And a candidate who isn’t interested in the job he’s interviewing for is hardly going to get it.
5. You Appear Desperate
It’s a sad reality that job hunting can be a long and hard process, especially considering that the job market is such a competitive place; it can take weeks, months, and sometimes years before you even land a job interview. At this point, it’s pretty normal to be desperate about getting a job – you have bills to pay, keep a roof over your head, and four mouths to feed.
Your goal is to impress the hiring manager into hiring you, but appearing desperate for the job (any job) has the complete opposite effect. Think of it kind of like dating: if your date thinks you’re desperate, they’ll be majorly turned off by you; they want to feel desired – they do not want to feel like second best.
Did you use to keep failing at job interviews and making the mistakes listed here? Perhaps you have a few wise words you’d like to offer active job seekers? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section below!