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Job Hunting: How to Kill your Employability

November 2, 2015 | Career Blog

Job Hunting is tough enough. So, you should be aware of how to kill your chances at securing a job? Let’s count the ways:

  1. Poor Preparation. Everything you need to do to have the best chance of securing a job is available online. The less you know about the prospective employer and the interviewer, the better your chances of not getting the job. Research is the key to good preparation.
  2. A dull, lifeless, boilerplate cover letter. On the flip side, a well-researched and cleverly crafted cover letter can kick down the door for you. A google search revealed to a job seeker that the person who would be interviewing him was a marathon runner and serious mountain climber, as in K2 serious). The first sentence of the job seeker’s cover letter read, “I am aware that the (job title) position will test my ability and drive to scale giant mountains of (name of company) work, and that the journey, just as in life, is a marathon rather than a sprint.”
  3. A resume that does not meet professional standards. There is no excuse for not having a first-class resume. The internet has hundreds of excellent examples.

If you’re lucky enough to get, an interview here are a few things to ensure not getting hired.

  1. Dress inappropriately. If you don’t know what is appropriate, don’t waste your time applying. Dress the way the interview dresses. Don’t show off your gucci’s until after you have the job.
  2. Shake hands like a dead fish. A true, somewhat related story. A young job applicant had over thirty competitors. His background placed him in the bottom 20%. He was scheduled as number 26. A friend of his, who was second, exited his interview and pulled number 26 aside. “Listen,” he began, “Don’t squeeze the hand of the old guy with glasses. He has a bad case of arthritis.” When the young man was being introduced and came to the old guy with glasses, he took his hand every gently into his and said, “I sense you are experiencing some pain in your hands, I hope you are better soon.” All the other applicants had macho mashed the hand of the old man, who, as it turn out, was the Chairman of the Board. He got the job.
  3. Don’t smile. That is a serious mistake. Some people will put a dot on their hand as a reminder to smile.
  4. Fidget, slouch, cross your arms over your chest, play with your hair, talk with your hands. Nervousness can be displayed in many ways. Cure? Be prepared, and fold your hands if necessary.
  5. Don’t make eye contact. If that’s a trait, correct it. Rehearse the interview until you have it down pat, and never take your eyes off the interviewer’s eyes.
  6. Be overly aggressive; evasive; look at your watch; leave your phone on. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
  7. Chew gum, swear, be critical or demeaning of anyone. You are either ill prepared, or you don’t want the job.
  8. Avoid answering questions. The only feasible reason is that you don’t have the interview down cold.

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