According to the Wall Street Journal, recruiters spend an average of 9.5 hours screening resumes and applicants for a single job opening. Even then, there’s no guarantee the person is right for the job, especially when certain interview styles raise some red flags.
With tight competition comes the need for quick decision-making, even if those judgements have to be made based on the candidate’s personality or overall demeanor. When it comes down to it, the real challenge for candidates is to avoid some not-so-attractive interview styles and counter them with their own personal strengths.
So, here are some common interview styles that may not be the best way to land a job — and some solutions to solve them.
Otherwise known as the name-dropper, the bragger is the type of candidate who seems to give off the vibe that they are better than everyone else. This may be because they know someone in the industry or have more experience than the position requires. Either way, it can turn-off the potential employer quicker than the candidate can suggest they are too good for the job.
Instead: Emphasize your accomplishments and show how your past experiences can assist your potential employer in the future. As an alternative to “I’m better than everyone else,” try speaking about the key moments in your career where your success would be applicable to the company. That way, you’ll stand out in the mind of your potential employer without bragging your way to the “no” pile.
The underprepared candidate is just that. Whether it means forgetting their portfolio, not remembering to bring up a key moment in their career, or failing to answer interview questions in full, being an underprepared candidate doesn’t bode well. It also shows the employer two things: first, they’re obviously not ready. Second, it seems as if they don’t care enough about the organization or the position to really show a vested interest.
Instead: Always do your research before you walk into an interview. This includes looking into company information, who’s going to be doing the interviewing, recent news, as well as materials you need to bring into the interview. When you walk into an interview mentally prepared, it will show in your responses, your confidence, and most importantly, your desire to nab the job.
The rambler may suffer from interview nerves, employer intimidation, or just stage fright. As a result, they may take it one notch too far. This includes giving long-winded responses which eventually lead to disconnect between themselves and the interviewer. Though they may feel as if they’re giving more than what’s required, they’re really just making it look like they can’t get to the point or answer questions properly.
Instead: If you suffer from nerves, you’re certainly not alone. The cure? Practice, practice, practice. Take some interview courses, go over why you want the job, and do a run-through of common interview questions. That way, you’ll not only know when to end your thought, you’ll also be able to give concise answers which likely appeals more to your potential employer.
The Bad Dresser
The bad dresser may also be known as the candidate with an unkempt appearance or too much makeup. No matter which one they may be, it’s obvious if someone walks into an interview looking less than stellar. Unfortunately, the employer may take that messy suit or the uncombed hair and deem the candidate as unprofessional or unfit for the job.
Instead: Even if the company is casual, it doesn’t mean your appearance needs to be. Invest in some professional attire, avoid harsh smelling perfumes, and make sure your grooming and hygiene are top-notch. In addition, don’t forget to put some personality into your appearance. This can be done by wearing a colored shirt or a subtle piece of jewelry. In the end, you may be working at the organization, so you want to show off who you are in some capacity.
Going into an interview can be difficult for any job seeker. However, if they avoid these common interview blunders — bragging, being unprepared, rambling, and dressing badly — those struggles will likely turn into the ultimate reward: the job.
What do you think? What are some other interview styles to avoid?
Alan Carniol is the Founder of Interview Success Formula, a program that helps job seekers to deliver powerful answers that prove why they are the right person for the job. Follow Alan and Interview Success Formula on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.