Are you looking for a job? 
In order to secure a role, you will need to attend at least one interview. 
Too many candidates attend interviews with the expectation that they will do well because of their experience and they will ‘wing’ it.   However during the interview you must present yourself in such a manner to impress your interviewer and convince him or her that you are the best candidate for the position.  Are you doing all you can to present a positive professional image?
According to a survey conducted by Korn Ferry International, a leading executive search firm, the most common interview mistake is verbosity—candidates who “talk too much.”
Among more than 300 professional recruiters surveyed, 43 percent believe the most COMMON interview error is when candidates “talk too much,” followed by 33 percent who say candidates are unprepared and 24 percent who cite “over inflated ego.”
Strong candidates effectively relate their experience in a concise and compelling manner.  Given the general diminished demand for executives, it is imperative in today’s market you maximize every interview and opportunity.
The Korn Ferry survey also revealed that 41 percent of the recruiters surveyed believed the behavior most FATAL to a candidate’s chance to win a job is being “unprepared.”  In addition, 32 percent of the recruiters cited an “over inflated ego,” followed by 17 percent who say “talk too much” and nine percent who denote “bad hygiene/poor dressing” as being fatal to a candidate’s chance of interview success.
So, if being UNPREPARED is the most fatal interview error it makes sense to make the most of all the information available to you to prepare effectively for that important interview.  What will be expected of you during that interview?  Have a look at these interview sabotage techniques and see if you are guilty of them:

 

1.              Arriving late
2.              Having little knowledge about the company
3.              Having little knowledge about the position applied for
4.              Having a superiority complex
5.              Behaving arrogantly

 

Remember that your body language must show that you are confident yet not overpowering.   Pull yourself up to your full height and maintain good posture whether standing or seated.  Maintain eye contact, smile, offer a strong handshake, and avoid looking defensive by crossing your arms or other negative gestures.
Wearing the right clothes is crucial for projecting confidence and an understanding of the corporate culture.  Do your research as to what is appropriate for the role and the environment.   It is better to go to an interview over-dressed than under-dressed.
Listen carefully and think before you answer each question.  A common mistake of interviewees is that they tend to get tense and forget the questions that are given to them and then get off track in their response, which makes it seem that they are not prepared for the interview.
Research the company and the position applied to fully understand the requirements of the role and how your skills and knowledge are a good match. 

If you do not know the answer to the questions being asked, it is better to admit you don’t know the answer to the question then add that you can research about it than to bluff your way through it.  Know your strengths and core competencies and relate them to the role.
If you can, gain a referral for the job.  Having a referral from one of the company employees can go a long way toward landing an interview and interview success.  A typical company may receive job applications in the hundreds and many job vacancies are filled by referrals.  The odds of getting hired when you have a referral are greater than those of the other applicants vying for the same position through an advertisement or a recruiter.


If you do not know anyone from the company that may give you a referral, network with the alumni of your college or university, trade groups, social network groups and online professional networks such as LinkedIn and professional associations.  Develop strong working relationships and maintain them so that they may become potential referrals when you need them.
If you follow these simple steps you will avoid sabotaging your success at interviews.
Jane Jackson is a Career Management Coach and Author of #1 Amazon Australia Bestseller ‘Navigating Career Crossroads’

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