4 interview stigmas unveiled (and how to solve them)!

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

May 21, 2013 @ 08:40 AM

Learn what you can do to avoid four interview blunders that could cost you the job.

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Ever hugged an employer during a job interview? What about calling your wife and asking what you’re having for dinner? How about being asked to be paid under the table?

If you think these are fabricated examples of how some candidates act in job interviews, you’re wrong! According to a recent survey, many job seekers make interview blunders that could cost them the job. Though some are not as extreme as the above examples, there are others that can cause red flags.

Let’s explore some of the more common interview stigmas, and what candidates can do to solve them beforehand.

(1) The Underprepared Job Seeker

This job seeker doesn’t seem to have their professional life in gear. Not only did they forget their portfolio, they also failed to research the organization, don’t know anything about the interviewer, and can’t name off their last three accomplishments. In fact, 34 percent of employers believe that not providing specific examples and vague responses are huge mistakes.

How to be prepared: Do your research before you step into the interview. This includes looking up company and industry information, as well as delving into your past accomplishments. The combination of these will show your interest in the job, as well as your value.

(2) The Stumbler

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous during a job interview. However, it goes beyond normalcy when your nervousness masks why you’re a great candidate. Stumbling through every question can make you seem uninformed about the position and the industry. Though this may not be the case, the interviewer may not know you outside of your initial meeting. First impressions mean that much more. 

How to avoid stumbling: Be confident! There’s a reason why you got the interview in the first place. Again, being nervous is normal. Practicing with a colleague or a mentor can help you combat those nerves and avoid stumbling through questions.

(3) The Unenthusiastic Interviewee

HR managers love a candidate with some enthusiasm. In fact, appearing disinterested in the position is the number-one turn-off. After all, why would an employer hire a candidate who seems to have zero interest in the job? Disinterest from the beginning doesn’t bode well for the organization, as well as the performance of the employee.

How to be enthusiastic: Enthusiasm stems from an interest in the industry and the job. So, if you’re not feeling those things from the get-go, you may want to apply to other positions. If you are passionate about the company, try doing some research on the organization, which can help you to pinpoint why you want to work there in the first place. This knowledge will be reflected in the interview. 

(4) The Inappropriately-Dressed Candidate

According to the survey, 60 percent of job candidates were dressed inappropriately in interviews. As I previously stated, first impressions mean a lot in a job interview, especially if you don’t have a prior connection with the interviewer. So, for the employer, what they see may equate to what they get. Unkempt hair, shabby clothes, or loud colors may reflect negatively on you, which is particularly troublesome in a job market where employers can just move on to one of the many other applicants.

How to dress appropriately: If you have to question your attire, it may be best to change it up. A good rule of thumb is to dress conservatively, such as a pantsuit or business attire. Put some personality in your wardrobe as well. A lightly colored shirt or blouse underneath a blazer or nice piece of jewelry or tie can make your outfit pop, helping you to stand out from others.

Though interviewing can be tough game, getting through some common stigmas will help you to win over the employer. So, be prepared, avoid stumbling, be enthusiastic, and dress well. The outcome of your interview will likely be a positive one if you do so.

What do you think? What are some other interview stigmas and how can you get over them?

Alan_CarniolAlan Carniol is the Founder of InterviewSuccessFormula.com an online job interview training system. Learn more here. Or, follow Alan and Interview Success Formula on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Topics: Interview