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Mistakes

Updated 09/03/2016
  You have made it to the Interviews!
  And now you are under the spotlights,
  people diving into your background, the
  skills, insights, behavioral questions,
  questions that don't make any sense, 
  and the interview pressure is up high.

  Many mistakes are made in the process
  of Interviewing.  This section is to help
  you identify your potential exposures
  and to fortify them before it all begins.

  No matter how experienced you are or believe you are, you will forget to say, do, or
  NOT say or do things and yet there is a good chance you will have done well anyway.

  But before we get into the meat of this, let's talk about possibly the #1 complaint
  people have:  arriving TOO EARLY!

  We know there are many variables that can delay you including weather, wrecks or the
  ever popular road construction started early that morning.  And you never want to be a
  late arrival.  So here is how to play this:

        Drive to the location the same time the day before and look for indiccations of
        pending traffic impacts such as barrels or road building equipment by the road.
        You can estimate travel time and allocate extra time for likely delays.  If a Guard
        Shack exists, you will need to be cleared for access so add in that time.  Ask where
        you should park you car as this may be a test they put you through, following a
        simple direction from an unknown person.  It may also keep you from being towed
        or your car accidently being sprayed.  Sometimes Receptionists are asked for their
        feedback on your professional conduct and how they were personally treated.
        It never hurts to be polite and professional to strangers, especially Receptionists
        and Secretaries!

        If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, stay in your car.  Receiptionists are very
        good about announcing you even with your request not to do it yet.  Plan to spend
        some time in the restroom to check your clothing, hair, teeth.  Insure you have
        everything needed for the interview.  
Also use this to become calm and collected so
        the 
first impression you give is not that of a nervous
 high strung person.

        Receptionists typically call the Manager who so often is in an interview with another
        candidate.  Ask to be announced 5 minutes before you are due.  While having the
        interruption could be a problem for your competitor, the Manager may see you as
        the problem.
 


  THE FIRST IMPRESSIONS 

  1.  HIRING POTENTIAL:  33%
       Percentage of hiring managers who know whether or not they would hire
       someone within the first 90 seconds.



  THE FIRST IMPRESSIONS DETERMINED BY 

  1.  DRESS, ACT, ENTER THROUGH THE DOOR: 55%

 
2.  QUALITY OF VOICE, GRAMMAR AND CONFIDENCE: 38%

  3.  WORDS YOU CHOSE TO SAY:  7%

    

  IMPACTS ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS 

  1.  APPLICANT NOT OVERLY FASHIONABLE OR TRENDY: 70%

 
2.  CLOTHING CAN BE DECIDING FACTOR BETWEEN SIMULAR CANDIDATES: 65%



  THE NON-VERBAL MISTAKES 
It is amazing how so many people make these mistakes and never remember doing
them after mock interviews.  But they are there, captured on video and witnessed by all others in the room.   According to Classes and Careers & HireWatch in late 2013 plus additional sources, here are the Top 16 items they reported as non-verbal mistakes ... and most to all are very preventable.

  1.  Answering a Phone Call / Text / e-Mail: 71%
       Disrespect for the interviewer, the process and the position.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  2.  Appearing Disinterested: 69%
       Disrespect for the interviewer, the process and the position.
       
May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  3.  Wearing the Wrong Attire / Offsensive Body Odor: 69%
       
Disrespect for the interviewer, the process and the position.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  4.  Lack of Eye Contact:  67%
       Strong eye contact can make or break your chances of winning the job.  People
       can read emotions from eye slits, explaining why some wear dark or mirrored
       glasses to hide their emotions during interviews, negotiations and the like.
       You need to present yourself as open and honest during the interview.  Failure
       to do so raises unwanted questions.

  5.  Appearing Arrogant: 66%
       Disrespect for the interviewer and the process.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

 
6.  Negative Remarks about Previous Job:  63%
       Potential to present negative remarks for this position when they depart.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.


 
7.  Talking While Chewing Gum: 59%
       Disrespect for the interviewer and challenging to understand.
       May be flagged for being excluded for further consideration.

  8.  Not Knowing Enough About the Company: 47%
       Surveys suggest only 10% of interview candidates even look at the company
       web site.  A public company is required to make considerable information on
       the company available to the general public and investors.  Yet people enter an
       interview not knowing what the primary product or service is of the company.
       Watching business news services and the local news can often provide you
       with insight that employees may be unaware of, making you look like an
       insider.

  9.  Not Smiling: 38%
       You are a selected candidate for a job you are supposed to be interested in
       getting.  So why are you not smiling?  You are confusing the interviewer at
       best and scaring them at worst.  The lack of a smile raises questions about
       your confidence.  Avoid the "false smile" for the negatives it projects.

10.  Poor Posture: 33%
       Suggests you may be lazy or disrespectful.  Reclining may suggest you are
       bored or cocky.  Slouching suggests nervousness.  If you shift from one
       position to another it suggests you are uncomfortable.  Try relaxing against
       the chair, feet firmly on the floor and engage your core. 

11.  Fidgeting:  33%
       Most often a sign of displacement or substituting for another emotion that the
       person is having and unable to express directly.  If could be excessive energy
       or other factors.

 12.  Unusual Handshake:  26%
       In business there is one handshake:  palms face each other, thumb goes over
       the hand of the other person, a firm but not crushing grip, arms move the
       hand slightly up and down a few times, then release.  One hand should not
       ever be above the other to any degree; this is known as "over reaching" and
       has been a power-play for centuries.  Don't you do it; don't let the interviewer
       do it.  Avoid any "secret handshakes" for an interview.

13.  Playing with Hair:  21%
       Playing, twirling, fiddling and hair pulling can be indicative with a number of
       behaviors and emotions.  Women who twirl their hair while talking to someone
       may have an attaction to the speaker as a flirtatious and preening behavior.  It
       can signify anxiety, incompetence, uncertainty or shyness.  It may also be a
       matter linked to genetics, anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsion
       disorder most commonly through to be a stress-related condition.
       
14.  
Arms Cross Over Chest:  21%
       C
rossing the arms across the chest is a classic gesture of defensiveness.  This
       defensiveness can manifest as uneasiness, shyness or insecurity.  When a
       person feels threatened by a situation they cross their amrs across their chest
       crating a defensive barrier protecting vital organs.  Sometimes arms-crossing
       is in combination with legs-crossing.

15.  
Excessive use of Hand Gestures:  9%
       a)  NO HAND GESTURES
            Suggests indifference leaving your audience feeling you do not care about
            what is being talked about.

       b)  HIDDEN HANDS
            Makes it hard to determine if you are trustworthy

       c)  OPEN PALMS AT 45 DEGREE ANGLE
            You are being open and honest

       d)  HANDS OPEN, PALMS DOWN
            You are certain about what you are talking about

       e)  PALMS FACING EACH OTHER, FINGERS TOGETHER
            Indicates you have expertise about what you are talking about

       f
)  HANDS GRASPED IN FRONT OF YOU
            You are nervous or tentative as does touching your face, hair, or neck

       g)  HAND GESTURES LARGER THAN THE OUTLINES OF YOUR BODY
            Communicates a large idea or concept.  Done too much raises questions
            that 
you may be chaotic or out of control.
       
 16.  Bright Colors and Odd Attire
        Conservative business attire is best for men or women.  First impressions are
        crucial especially for important interviews of any type.  Dress sharply and do
        not forget hair, appropriate cosmetics, fingernails, eye brows, eye lashes,
        face and shoes.


  THE VERBAL & VISUAL MISTAKES 
The following are not raked in any percentage but are observed and damaging:

   1.  Hugging
        Minimal contact through a hearty business handshake.  No one wants to be
        made uncomfortable.

   2.  No "Trash" or "Bashing" Talk
        Never talk poorly about a company, an organization, a group, or a person.
        If you must say something negative, show how you turned it around over a
        period of time ... always show the positive outcome.

   3.  Cell Phone
        Unless you have a pending emergency, turn it off.  This becomes a distraction
        and shows disrespect for the interviewer and to the company.  No calls, no
        texts, no e-mails ... turn it off.  Check it after the interview.

   4.  Lying
        Promoting your skills is one thing.  NEVER lie about about skills or anything
        else.  If hired and discovered, at a minimum your integrity is destroyed.  You
        may be terminated for your untruthful statements or terminated for lacking
        the level of skill you represented raising questions of competency or ability.

   5.  Being Emotional
        Show interviewers you have sufficient self control to handle any situation like
        a true professional.  No matter what happens, control your emotions.


   6.  Self-Sabatoge
        Do not undersell yourself.  Enter the interview with the mindset you are both
        qualified and capable of doing a great job for the employer.  Nothing less.

   7.  Do not be the Know-It-All
        No one likes someone who acts like they know everything.  It is annoying and
        leaves the Knot-It-All as a person extremely hard to work with.

   8.  A "Yes Man"
        No one "knows it all" and no one can "do everything".
 
   9.  No Agenda
        Part of the interview is YOU asking the INTERVIEWER questions.  Ask about
        the job, the culture, if they ever thought of leaving and why, what attracted
        them to the company, what type of work would you be involved with, etc.
        All show interest in the company and can avoid the most connon reasons
        people resign:  the company culuture and their manager.

 10.  Talking too much
        Going into great length answering your question can hurt you from being too
        talkative and reduce your time to ask questions.  You loose on both counts.


 11.  Not being engaged
        Be interactive and engaging with the interviewer(s) to project yourself as
        being an interesting qualified candidate who communicates well.


 12.  Lack of questions
        This includes No Agenda above.  NEVER leave an interview without having
        asked some meaningful questions to show interest in the position and with
        the company.


 13.  Passion
        People who have passion for their work do better and stay longer.  If you are
        a "fake it until you make it" person, you will learn passion cannot be faked.
        Passion is too easy to detect from bodily changes as you talk of your passion.

 14.  
Sudden Minor Illness
        If you come down with something, bring a handkerchief should you sneeze to
        show your personal hygiene and respect for their health.  Indicate you know
        the cause, and why it may impact your performance, they are at no risk of
        catching anything from you and the interview was very important to you.  if
        they want to shake hands after the meeting, that is their informed decision.
        
        Discussing anything that may change the clarity or volume of your voice, or
        "fog" your mind from medications should be brought to their attention at the
        start of the interview.  This allows them to dispel it versus wondering over the
        course of the interview if this is the way you always are.

 15.  Being Angry
        Angry people may frighten co-workers and/or customers or clients.  They
        may 
abuse people and/or equipment.  Obligation to remove them from
        consideration.  Human Resources should be informed of the anger.


 16.  Sharing Too Much Information (TMI)
        Sometimes,people have a whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mindset in
        a job interview so everything is put "on the table" for every question.  This is
        neither smart, helpful or productive.  Avoid taking the award for the most
        boring interview.

 17.  Flirting, Bribery, or other Unprofessional Conduct
        Not the time, place, or conduct for a job interview.  Guaranteed rejection of
        the candidate to avoid problems starting that hour.  Incident may be reported
        to Human Resources and potentially Legal should complaints be leveled.

 18.  Do not request or collect Contact Information or ask Next Steps
        Lack of interest or knowledge of the interviewing process.  The Candidate
        should have exchanged Business Cards with everyone at the start of the
        session and asked about Next Steps before leaving the interview.

 19.  No Follow-up
        Candidate should have sent a hand-written thank you card to each person in
        the interview ideally that same day and checked the spelling of each name and
        every word.  Fail to follow-up suggests lack of interest.

 20.  Stupid Interviewee Statements
        a)  I'm Not Good at Working With People
             Great way to end a conversation with, especially early on.

        b)  I'm So OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) 
             Trivializes a medical disorder that impacts millions of people.
             This becomes an offensive and hurtful statement disqualifying the person.

        c)  What About Vacation?
             A good way to find you won't be receiving any from this employer.

        d)  Leaving My Job Because The Company Is Toxic
             Never go negative on a manager, colleague or company.  Waive Bye Bye
       
        e)  Not Excited About the Position
             If this job was your stepping stone into the company, you're toast.

        f)  I Don't Have Any Questions For You
            Says no research was done on the company.  No interest ... no opportunity.
             


  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES




 

  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In an interview many questions, including weird ones, may come your way.
Look at the material within The CT Groups web site on questions and spend time
on questions that are:
  -  Behavioral (Tell me about a time when you ...)
  -  Tell me about your worst ...
  -  Tell me about your assignments
  -  What have you enjoyed work on and what did you not enjoy?