The One Thing You Didn’t Realize Could Cost You the Job

My interviews this week all seemed to have a common theme.  Despite bringing in candidates that looked great on paper, told us about their experience and for the most part seemed like they could do the job, they all lacked one thing – enthusiasm!   Enthusiasm can often be synonymous with eagerness, passion, fervor, gusto and zest – these are all things you need to display to get a job!  To help, keep these things in mind during your next interview:

Enthusiasm is so important that it can win out over experience

Enthusiasm may not seem as important as things like knowledge and experience, however enthusiasm is often what sways a hiring panel when two candidates are neck and neck with experience.  Even if one has more experience, the candidate that shows greater interest and passion for the job is more likely to win the competition.

Don’t let nerves overshadow interest

It’s ok to be nervous. In fact, nerves themselves can often show that a candidate is interested in the job and taking the interview process seriously.  However, don’t be so nervous that you clam up and forget to show any enthusiasm in working for the company.

There are 3 main ways candidates demonstrate enthusiasm

1.       Showing company knowledge

2.       Maintaining a positive demeanor

3.       Asking thoughtful and insightful questions

Do your research upfront and find ways to show that knowledge through your answers to the interview questions.  Stay positive by smiling, making eye contact and steering clear of even one negative word about your current or past employers.  Lastly, not having any questions at all for the employer is a huge red flag that reads: not interested! Similarly, asking questions about the company that you could easily have found before the interview also demonstrates a lack of interest.

Tell the employer why you want the job

You will most likely be asked in the interview why the position is of interest to you.  Do not under any circumstances give any of these reasons: work location, schedule, salary, benefits, or pension.  In fact, don’t bring these up at any point in the interview.  An employer wants to hear a much more thoughtful answer about what interests you in the role and the company.

A thank you note is a must to show enthusiasm

Follow up with a well written thank you note within a maximum of 24 hours after the interview. Include the key points you talked about in the interview and reiterate your interest and fit for the position.

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Top 6 Most Common Interview Mistakes

Anyone who tells you that they love being interviewed is lying.  It’s a nerve-racking and challenging necessary evil for those in the workforce.  Here are the top six most common interview mistakes and how to steer clear of making them.

1.       Making a weak first impression

Unfortunately, all those myths about recruiters or hiring managers deciding in the first few minutes, or even seconds, if they want to hire you are completely true.  Make a strong first impression and the panel will be more inclined to overlook flaws in your answers.

2.       Not Being Prepared

Do your homework on the company and position you are interviewing for.  You should know the company’s brand, products or services, and the direction they are headed.  As well, you should be very familiar with the job description and be able to demonstrate how your skills and experience lend themselves to what the company is looking for.

Make sure you've brought with you anything you were asked to bring such as a list of supervisory references.  If you’re going to bring a note pad and pen be sure they look professional.  Remember, ill prepared candidates rarely get the job.

3.       Speaking negatively about your current company or boss

If you’re on an interview it may be because you feel you’re not being treated very well by your current employer. That’s fine, but the interview is not the time to seek revenge by saying anything negative about your employer or boss.  Even a throwaway comment about how horrible your boss is, true or not, only makes you look bad. 

4.       Talking about people you don't get along with at work

You can almost expect to be asked about how you deal with conflict in the workplace and to provide an example.  That’s because interpersonal relationships at work are extremely important to the success of a company.  Be careful in your answer to hold back from making judgmental comments about your peers or blaming someone else for problems where you should take ownership.

5.       Appearing to be too nervous, or too confident

There’s a delicate balance to be struck here: appearing too nervous doesn’t give the hiring manager confidence that you can do the job, but on the other hand, appearing overly confident may make the interviewers feel that you’re not a fit for their team.

6.       Not asking any, enough or the right questions

Few candidates realize that the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview is still a crucial part of the evaluation.  You are being evaluated on the quality and insightfulness of your questions. Not asking any questions shows a lack of interest in the opportunity.  Asking only what’s-in-it-for-me type questions will certainly turn the interviewers off.

Need help preparing for an interview? Contact us to set up an appointment.  And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @DreamBigCareers for more great advice!