what went wrong during your job interviewYou got called for an interview! That’s great, and  although you felt pretty confident going in, now that it’s over, you can’t shake the feeling that something went wrong during your job interview

You never hear from them again. What went wrong?

Here’s what could have gone wrong during your interview

You came prepared to talk only about yourself And, of course, you need to. The interviewer needs to learn a lot about you – not just your skills and background, but your personality, your motivation  – are you a good cultural fit? And one of the most important things that the interviewer wants to discover is your level of interest in the company and how you see yourself contributing.

“How can I possibly know that ahead of time?” you ask. By having done some serious homework on the company before the job interview. Go online and read everything you can find. Press releases on the company’s website will tell you what is going on there. Scour the annual report. News articles about the company that reveal new products, new initiatives, new….well, new anything. Know the company’s history. Its global reach. Know who the top people are.

And for every question you answer about yourself, tie in this knowledge with how you can contribute.

You Gave the Wrong Answer to “Do you have any questions for us?” The right question(s) spring from what you learned in the section above. “Since expansion into APAC is a top priority for the Company, what impact would my role have on it?” That’s the sort of question you should have asked. If you asked about salary or benefits, you so totally blew it.

This first job interview is about convincing the interviewer that hiring you is the best decision he or she has made all year. It is not for you to debate the merits of them as an employer. Not yet. Negotiations don’t begin until someone offers you a job.

You didn’t realize that you were getting ready for a date Come on – admit it. You Google every date you go out on. You check out where that person went to school, see if he or she also loves marathon running or playing Words with Friends, and maybe who you know in common. So why wouldn’t you do that before you meet with the very person who may hold your professional life in his or her hands?

I’m not recommending that you cyber-stalk the person. Just be able to drop a few informed lines while you’re chatting. “I’ve read that you once worked at Tesco – were you involved in their expansion throughout EMEA?” or “So, you were a Gator! My brother went to U Florida as well. Great football!”

You forgot to send a follow up email The interview went well, so keep the momentum going. Don’t let 24 hours go by without sending a short email thanking the person for detailing the company’s expectations. Reiterate the points you made about why you can fulfill those expectations. Reference something in the conversation that confirmed your specific ability to address their need. Just be brief. Learn how to do it here.

You call or email too frequently Before you leave a job interview, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask what the company’s timeframe is. You’ll probably be told that they still have candidates to interview, and then the stakeholders need to gather to discuss. That can take time. Let 10 business days go by after sending your interview follow up email. If you haven’t heard anything, a short email asking for an update is ok. You may not get an answer. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of consideration; it could, but it could also mean that the interviewer has other things going on. Never phone – that’s intrusive and annoying. If you don’t hear back from the second email, move on.

Watch this video, and you won’t be asking, “what went wrong during my job interview!”
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