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Why You Keep Falling Short In Job Interviews

Why You Keep Falling Short In Job Interviews

Why You Keep Falling Short In Job Interviews

Could one of these five fatal mistakes be keeping you from landing a job?

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer
 
If you’re being called in for interviews but can’t quite seem to land a job, it’s time to take a look at what might be holding you back. Here are some ways you might be falling short in job interviews.

You let down your guard
 
While it’s important to connect with interviewers, you don’t want to get too friendly, says Jeff Altman, host of Job Search Radio. He recently had a candidate on the final long-distance interview before being flown in for the in-person interview, and it was going very well. The area head and candidate were getting along great, laughing and joking with each other. Then the area head asked a question and the candidate replied, “I'll give you the answer at the whiteboard when we meet."
 
“There was no meeting,” Altman says. “The candidate was rejected. He had confused the camaraderie of the moment and lost track of the fact that this person was still evaluating him and had every reason to expect an answer.”

You wave red flags
 
Obviously, you don’t want to lie in a job interview. But if you’ve made it to that stage, you need to keep in mind that hiring managers are looking for red flags, so don’t show them any.
 
For example, if you ran your own business only to have it fail, talk about the success it did have when times were good instead of focusing on what went wrong. “A business owner who failed to renegotiate a lease and lost access to his facility is not a good explanation as to why you want another job,” says Robert Meier, founder of Job Market Experts.

You don’t pay attention to detail
 
We’re not talking about proofreading your resume for typos -- that should be a given. “One small mistake that's made all too often is not accounting for time zones when doing a phone or video interview,” says Chris Brown, director of human resources at InterCall.
 
He says he scheduled to interview someone located in California at 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific, but the interviewee logged in for his interview at 1 p.m. Pacific, clearly not accounting for the time change. The interviewee missed the call. “This simple mistake knocked him out of the running for the position,” Brown says.

You talk about retiring

While retirement is a natural topic of discussion for workers of a certain age, this kind of “honest dialog” can be a detriment, Meier says. Talking about retirement can make it seem like you’re counting the days until you can stop working.
 
He also encourages military veterans to avoid using the word “retirement” to describe the end of their service. “The word ‘retirement’ should be banished from your vocabulary.”

You fail to follow up
 
“Sending a thank you to the interviewers after an interview is good form and shows courtesy, respect for their time, and genuine interest in the job,” says Trevor Simm, founder and president of OpalStaff. “Plus, it keeps the lines of communication open with the employer. Always follow up after interviews.”

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