Friday, October 23, 2009
5. You do not know how to sell yourself.
Don't assume credentials will speak for themselves. It is your responsibility to prove to the employer why you are the best person for the job. Selling yourself is not bragging about how great you are. The best ways to sell yourself are by asking great questions, sharing stories and examples that demonstrate why you have the traits and skills needed for success in the position, and closing the interview strong. You can finish strong by asking for the job while recapping why you are the best candidate.
6. You are not likeable.
Another reason why interviews exist is because employers hire people they like. The most qualified candidate is not always the person who gets the job. Treat every person with respect. If you are rude to the secretary, you are not getting hired. Don't badmouth anyone or be negative. Don't be a robot; include humor when appropriate. You have to be enthusiastic and friendly during the entire interview process. Note: if you have to fake enthusiasm, that's a sign you should not be interviewing with the organization. If you can't get excited for one hour about the possibility of working for the employer, do you really think you will be excited working for the organization 40-50 hours a week?
7. You don't bring your "A" game throughout the entire process.
The interview process begins the moment you come in contact with someone who could potentially refer you or hire you. Treat every career conversation like an interview, because every career conversation is an interview. Once you get into the formal interview process, bring your "A" game at all times. I remember going through a series of four back-to-back interviews with a Fortune 100 company when I was in college. I asked most of my questions in the first interview, and one or two more in the second interview. In the third interview, I asked no questions at all, somehow thinking that the first two interviewers would tell the third interviewer about all the brilliant questions I asked earlier. The third interviewer even threw me a bone by telling me it would be good to ask some questions, and I replied by saying that I already asked my questions earlier in the day. Big mistake! Even if you ask the exact same questions with each person you meet, that's better than asking none. Treat each interview as if it is your only chance to make a great impression. You want each person you meet (including secretaries) to be sold on hiring you because you never know who has the final say. It only takes one person being adamant against hiring you for you to lose a job offer.
Pete Leibman is the Founder of Dream Job Academy and the Author of the new book titled “I Got My Dream Job and So Can You.” His career advice has been featured on Fox, CBS, and CNN, and he is a popular Keynote Speaker at career events for college students and at conferences for people who work with college students.
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