Think you’re the most qualified candidate for the job? Your resume reads like the job description. You’re a shoe-in right? Well that’s the first problem. Let’s look at that and 5 other mistakes you should avoid in your job search.

  1. Thinking you are the best candidate for the job. That determination is not up to you. It’s up to the hiring manager. With so many factors going into the hiring decision, it’s not possible for you to guess that you are the best candidate. Chemistry is probably the biggest influence on the hiring manager. Problem is, chemistry is not well-defined and most people can’t even put their finger on it…they like you or they don’t. Be sure to make a good connection with your interviewer without overdoing it.
  2. Your answer to “why did you leave your last job?” is long and babbling. Your words may make perfect sense. Let’s face it, you’re not going to tell someone you got fired or you couldn’t stand or boss (I hope!). The interviewer knows that. So why do they ask? They want to read your body language. If your face turns pale, you fidget, or you babble on, they’ll sense there is more to the story than you are letting on. No matter what the circumstance, this answer should be rehearsed many times to ensure its concise, positive and your body language is relaxed.
  3. You’re prepared in your head, but show no signs of it. Sure you may have done research and practiced your answers. But if you show up without a notebook, don’t ask questions, don’t take notes and can’t cite any relevant information about the company or the role, all that preparation is like a tree falling in the woods. Be sure you leave the impression that you spent hours preparing for the interview by bringing multiple copies of your resume, examples of relevant work, have a notebook on your lap and ask intelligent questions that cite information that you obtained in your research.
  4. Can’t back up your claims with examples. If you want the interviewer to understand the breadth and depth of your skill set, you must use specific examples. In preparing for the interview, put together a story for each of the qualifications for the job. Each story should have three components: Problem, Action, Result. Don’t plan to recite your story verbatim, just have the examples fresh in your mind.
  5. You don’t know who you are meeting with. Talk about being caught off guard. You want to make sure you get a list of the interviewers and titles before your interview. Ask the contact – either the HR person, the recruiter or admin – for this list. Then hit the world wide web to pull as much information as you can. They may be on LinkedIn and sometimes, they may be on You Tube which will give you a great feel for who you are meeting.
  6. You’re focused on impressing only the interviewers. Big mistake! Everyone you meet, from the security desk to the administrative assistant offering you a glass of water should be treated with respect. These folks have a lot of influence with the hiring manager. Imagine giving Joe the security guard an attitude for asking for id. When the hiring manager goes down for lunch and waves hello to Joe, Joe is more than eager to share that he thought the candidate was a real jerk. You don’t need that opinion planted in the hiring manger’s head. Be sure to smile and make eye contact with everyone you meet.
  7. You’ve dubbed yourself “old school” and opt to hand write your thank you note and send it snail mail. Wow, what a nice touch. Problem is, your competition is in the 21st century and their thank you notes have been delivered within 24 hours of their interview via email. Yours doesn’t show up for a week. And who even goes to their inbox in the mailroom anymore? Thank you notes should be sent the following day by email. (Not the same day as that’s a little crazy-ex-girlfriend-ish.) Send a note separately to each interviewer with relevant information about your conversation.

Still think you’re the best candidate for the job? Avoid these mistakes and you may be right.

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