When you sit down for an interview, the hiring team’s number one priority is to see if you’re a good fit for the job, the team and their company. You’ll be asked a variety of questions and, usually as the conversation wraps up, will be given an opportunity to ask a few of your own. The whole interaction is really an opportunity to sell yourself, but it can be blown with one small, unintentional mishap.
At High Profile Staffing, we’ve helped thousands of DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) administrative, accounting and human resources professionals nail the interview and land their ideal career. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common interview mistakes to avoid, so you can have the upper hand in your next interview.
Mistake 1: Dressing too casual
As a business professional, you can find yourself frequently in roles where you are the face of the company. Clients and colleagues will often see you long before they shake hands with upper management. Others will see you as a reflection of the company’s professionalism. When attending the interview, choose an outfit that is fitting for a position a few steps up the corporate ladder.
Mistake 2: Unsure of your strengths
When the hiring team asks you about your strengths, humility is your enemy. Be confident in your abilities, but not egotistical. Don’t just list off generic skills, but give examples of how you saved the day at a former job, or even in a temporary position, because of the unique strengths you bring to the table.
Mistake 3: Not turning a weakness into a strength
It’s the question dreaded by all interviewees – what are your weaknesses? However, this is not the time to justify your chronic tardiness or elaborate on your system of organized messes. Answer with a truthful example, but then show how you learned from it and how the situation helped you grow. Always answer this question by showing how you turned that weakness into a strength.
Mistake 4: Badmouthing your last boss
The last thing your new employer needs to hear is how much you hated the old one. Avoid dredging up drama about your old position and keep any critiques lighthearted. Complaining about your previous employer makes you look like you aren’t a team player. Remember, it’s a small world, and you never know how people could be connected outside the office, both personally and professionally.
Mistake 5: Forgetting to follow up
The interview doesn’t end when you shake hands and walk out the door. Sending a follow up note, phone call or email not only shows you value the hiring team’s time, but it can help you stay on the top of the applicant pile. A follow-up should come within 24 hours and be brief and optimistic, and conversational yet professional.
The key to a successful interview? Be yourself.
You are going to be nervous, but it is important to be yourself. They want to get to know the genuine you so they can see how you’ll fit into their current workforce culture. It’s likely, as a business professional, you’ll be working closely with one or more of the individuals on the hiring team. Putting forth a professional version of your genuine self shows that you are confident and helps you stand out from other applicants, especially the ones giving those over-rehearsed, robotic answers.
At High Profile Staffing, we show our job seekers how to put their best selves forward, blending their genuine personalities with their professional qualities. Need help nailing down your next interview? Contact us today! Together we’ll explore a world of new opportunities.