Avoid These 10 Interview Mistakes Poor handshake: The three-second handshake that starts the interview is your

first opportunity to create a great impression. But all too often an interview is blown right from the start by an ineffective handshake. Once you've delivered a poor handshake, it's nearly impossible to recover your efforts to build rapport. Here are some examples:
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The Limp Hand (or "dead fish"): Gives the impression of disinterest or weakness The Tips of the Fingers: Shows lack of ability to engage. The Arm Pump: Sincerity is questionable, much like an overly aggressive salesman.

Even if you're a seasoned professional, don't assume you have avoided these pitfalls. Your handshake may be telling more about you than you know. Ask for honest critiques from several friends who aren't afraid to tell you the truth. Talking too much: In my recruiting days, I abhorred over-talkative candidates. So did most of my client employers. Over-talking takes a couple of forms:
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Taking too long to answer direct questions. The impression: This candidate just can't get to the point. Nervous talkers. The impression: This candidate is covering up something or is outright lying.

To avoid either of these forms of over-talking, practice answering questions in a direct manner. Avoid nervous talking by preparing for your interview with role-play Talking negatively about current or past employers/managers: The fastest way to talk yourself out of a new job is to say negative things. Even if your last boss was Attila the Hun, never, never state your ill feelings about him/her. No matter how reasonable your complaints, you will come out the loser if you show that you disrespect your boss because the interviewer will assume that you would similarly trash him or her. When faced with the challenge of talking about former employers, make sure you are prepared with a positive spin on your experiences. Showing up late or too early: One of the first lessons in job-search etiquette is to show up on time for interviews. Many job-seekers don't realize, however, that showing up too early often creates a poor first impression as well. Arriving more than 10 minutes early for an interview is a dead giveaway that the job seeker has too much time on his or her hands, much like the last one picked for the softball team. Don't diminish your candidate desirability by appearing desperate. Act as if your time were as valuable as the interviewer's. Always arrive on time, but never more than 10 minutes early. Treating the receptionist rudely: Since the first person you meet on an interview is usually a receptionist, this encounter represents the first impression you'll make. Don't mistake low rank for low input. Often that receptionist's job is to usher you into your interview. The receptionist has the power to pave your way positively or negatively before you even set eyes on the interviewer. The interviewer may also solicit the receptionist's opinion of you after you leave.

Practice sharing your best success stories ahead of time. The effect is about the same when a job-seeker asks about benefits or other employee perks during the first interview." Ignore the butterflies in your stomach and put up a front of calm confidence by avoiding verbal ticks. vacation time or salary: What if a car salesman asked to see your credit report before allowing you to test drive the cars? That would be ridiculous.and make yourself seem more like him or her -. Avoid eye contact and you'll seem shifty. The first signs of nervousness are verbal ticks. offer too much eye contact. and then back those facts up with your extraordinary interview skills. You will have made yourself a better . untruthful. and you'll wear the interviewer out.Asking about benefits. Failure to match communication styles: It's almost impossible to make a good first impression if you can't communicate effectively with an interviewer. Allowing the interviewer to set the tone of conversation can vastly improve your chances of making a favourable impression. or disinterested. But you can easily change that situation by mirroring the way the interviewer treats you. Often the items on display in the office can offer a clue. Not enough / Too much eye contact: Either situation can create a negative effect. and you'll feel more relaxed during the real interview. On the flip side. If you sometimes have trouble with eye-contact balance. You can put the interviewer at ease -. Then follow up by asking if more information is needed.by mirroring his or her communication style. If asked a direct question. work this issue out ahead of time in an interview practice session with a friend. try discussing his/her interests. Start your job search with a resume that creates a stellar first impression. For instance: • • • If the interviewer seems all business. don't attempt to loosen him/her up with a joke or story. Similarly. you should know that polishing your interview skills can mean the difference between getting the job offer -. answer directly. Not preparing for the interview: Nothing communicates disinterest like a candidate who hasn't bothered to do pre-interview research." "like. Final Thoughts Just as a strong resume wins you an opportunity to interview. We all have them from time to time -. Be succinct and businesslike If the interviewer is personable." "you know. You already know that you won't earn an interview unless your resume sets you apart as a candidate of choice. One of the best ways to reduce or eliminate them is through role-play. and you'd walk away in disgust.and being a runner-up. You can also sometimes avoid verbal ticks by pausing for a few seconds to gather your thoughts before each response. strong interview skills will win you consideration for the job."umm. the quickest way to a good impression is to demonstrate your interest with a few well thought out questions that reflect your knowledge of their organization Verbal ticks: An ill-at-ease candidate seldom makes a good impression. Wait until you've won the employer over before beginning that discussion.

understanding how to excel in this interview environment is becoming a crucial job-hunting skill. skills and abilities that the company has decided are desirable in a particular position. however. even if you are fudging a bit on the truth." or "Lead me through your decision process. Traditional interview questions ask you general questions such as "Tell me about yourself. in fact. For example. while traditional interviewing is only 10 percent predictive. the behavioural interviewer typically will pick it apart to try to get at the specific behaviour(s). How does the interviewer know.candidate by avoiding these ten interview pitfalls. and because increasing numbers of employers are using behaviour-based methods to screen job candidates. if you would really react in a given situation the way you say you would? In a behavioural interview. The interviewer will probe further for more depth or detail such as "What were you thinking at that point?" or "Tell me more about your meeting with that person. The interviewer identifies job-related experiences. Behavioural Interviewing Strategies for Job-Seekers Behavioural interviewing is a relatively new mode of job interviewing. Behavioural-based interviewing is touted as providing a more objective set of facts to make employment decisions than other interviewing methods. Employers use the behavioural interview technique to evaluate a candidate's experiences and behaviours so they can determine the applicant's potential for success. is said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behaviour. your response will not hold up through the barrage of probing questions. Behavioural interviewing. after all. And no one will have to talk about you as the candidate who "almost" got the job." If you've told a story that's anything but totally honest. In a traditional job-interview. it's much more difficult to give responses that are untrue to your character." The process of behavioural interviewing is much more probing and works very differently. Even if you are asked situational questions that start out "How would you handle XYZ situation?" you have minimal accountability. behaviours. Employers such as AT&T and Accenture (the former Andersen Consulting) have been using behavioural interviewing for about 15 years now. you can usually get away with telling the interviewer what he or she wants to hear. knowledge. When you start to tell a behavioural story. some of the characteristics that employers look for include: • • • • • • • Critical thinking Being a self-starter Willingness to learn Willingness to travel Self-confidence Teamwork Professionalism The employer then structures very pointed questions to elicit detailed responses aimed at determining if the candidate possesses the desired characteristics. Questions (often not . The premise behind behavioural interviewing is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations.

. but try to choose negative experiences that you made the best of or -.. your response needs to be specific and detailed. classes and school projects.as examples of your past behaviour. Here's a good way to prepare for behaviour-based interviews: • • • • • • Identify six to eight examples from your past experience where you demonstrated top behaviours and skills that employers typically seek. community service.. review your resume. those that had positive outcomes.better yet. Numbers always impress employers. such as accomplishments or meeting goals.. Seeing your achievements in print will jog your memory. don't take them all from just one area of your life. Remember that many behavioural questions try to get at how you responded to negative situations. The other half should be situations that started out negatively but either ended positively or you made the best of the outcome. In the interview. being elected president of your Greek organization. As a candidate." Many employers use a rating system to evaluate selected criteria during the interview. Accenture. examples from high school may be too long ago. you'll need to have examples of negative experiences ready. Try to describe examples in story form and / or PAR / SAR / STAR." or "Describe a situation. Knowing what kinds of questions might be asked will help you prepare an effective selection of examples. whether personal or professional. Half your examples should be totally positive. quantify your results. Obviously. winning a prize for your artwork. If you're a college student.even framed as a question) typically start out: "Tell about a time. specifies that candidates give examples of behaviours demonstrated within the last year. you may use examples of special accomplishments.anything really -. In addition. Use fairly recent examples. Use examples from internships. Candidates who tell the interviewer about particular situations that relate to each question will be far more effective and successful than those who respond in general terms. . Researching the company and talking to people who work there will enable you to zero in on the kinds of behaviours the company wants. you can prepare better for this type of interview if you know which skills that the employer has predetermined to be necessary for the job you seek. hobbies and work experience -. or raising money for charity. Vary your examples. surfing a big wave. To cram for a behavioural interview right before you're interviewed. team participation. activities. Wherever possible. in fact. such as scoring the winning touchdown. you should be equipped to answer the questions thoroughly. Think in terms of examples that will exploit your top selling points.

keep a record of achievements and accomplishments so you'll be ready with more great examples the next time you go on a behaviour interview. Throughout the entire job-seeking process employers use short-cuts -heuristics or rules of thumb -. With practice. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort. tell what you did. or any relevant event. Don't tell what you might do. (This technique is often referred to as the SAR and PAR techniques as well. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. but it will give you a competitive edge and a positive first impression. not a generalized description of what you have done in the past.not the efforts of the team.to a potential employer. you can learn to tailor a relatively small set of examples to respond to a number of different behavioural questions. How should you dress? Dressing conservatively is always the safest route. and pull an example out of your bag of tricks that provides an appropriate description of how you demonstrated the desired behaviour. listen carefully to each question. but you should also try and do a little investigating of your prospective employer so that what you wear to the interview makes you look as though you fit in with the organization. as outlined below.to save time. In job-hunting. from a volunteer experience. and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire. but the reality is. that you are judged. you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking.yourself -. If you overdress .In the interview. but also one of the most underutilized by job-seekers: dress for success. This situation can be from a previous job. You must describe a specific event or situation. Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. With resumes. With cover letters. first impressions are critical. With the job interview. Will dressing properly get you the job? Of course not. Remember. you are marketing a product -. describe what you did -. STAR Interviewing Response Technique for Success in Behavioural Job Interviews One strategy for preparing for behavioural interviews is to use the STAR Technique. of course. Once you've snagged the job. its how you're dressed that sets the tone of the interview. it's the opening paragraph and a quick scan of your qualifications. it is a quick scan of your accomplishments. Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not.) Situation or Task Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. thus. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Action you took Results you achieved When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success It's probably one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting.

so here are some tips for both men and women. 4. their performance in an interview will make or break the chances for a job offer. and what you did afterwards. Finally. but you should make sure you have at least two professional sets of attire. your hair is combed. they can become better prepared to demonstrate how they can benefit an employer. check your attire in the rest room just before your interview for a final check of your appearance -. You'll need more than that. 5. Top 15 Job Interview Questions While job seekers can use the power of the Internet to thoroughly research prospective employers. MonsterTrak. two is enough to get started and you can buy more once you have the job or have more financial resources.com has compiled a list of the top 15 interview questions from the country’s leading employers. you could visit the company's office to retrieve an application or other company information and observe the attire current employees are wearing -. but depending on your current financial condition. the potential employer may feel that you don't care enough about the job. Or. 3. . etc. or other objects in your mouth minimal jewellery no body odour Finally. to help job seekers prepare for job interviews: 1.(which is rare but can happen) or under dress (the more likely scenario). 2. How do you find out what is the proper dress for a given job/company/industry? You can call the Human Resources office where you are interviewing and simply ask. candy. 6. do you need to run out and spend a lot of money on clothes for interviewing? No. By rehearsing interview questions. What do you know about our company? Why do you want to work for us? What unique qualities or abilities would you bring to this job? What are your major strengths and weaknesses? How long do you plan to stay at our company? Where do you see yourself in five years? 7. Hints for Dress for Success for Men and Women Attention to details is crucial. Tell me about yourself. Make sure you have: • • • • • • • • • clean and polished conservative dress shoes well-groomed hairstyle cleaned and trimmed fingernails minimal cologne or perfume no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercing for women well-brushed teeth and fresh breath no gum.though make sure you are not there on a "casual day" and misinterpret the dress code. Tell me about a time that you failed at something.to make sure your tie is straight.

it is a highly subjective encounter in which the interviewer offers the job to the qualified person whom he/she likes best. enthusiasm. What other types of jobs or companies are you considering? 15. Have you any questions for us? The goal is to persuade the employer that the interviewee has the skills. 12.8. Tell me how you did it. Instead. Tell me about a project that you had either at work or school. confidence. The interview outcome can be strongly influenced by realizing an interview is not an objective process in which the employer offers the job to the best candidate based on merit alone. and ability to do the job and can comfortably fit into his/her organization. a positive outlook and excellent interpersonal and communication skills count heavily. Personality. What was your relative position on the team? Were you satisfied with your contribution? How could it have been better? 9. Think back to a situation in which you had to resolve a conflict. Why did you choose your school and course of study? 10. 11. What do you do in your spare time? 13. background. Describe a time when you worked on a team project. What salary are you expecting? 14. Describe in detail how you managed it and what was the outcome. .

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