Have you been to a load of job interviews but had no offers? You may have put this down to a tricky job market or the high calibre of other candidates, but what if – dare we say it – the problem is you? The following may help you work out where you’re going wrong and how to fix it.
You’re not qualified
There’s no harm in dreaming big and applying for jobs in an aspirational way, but the truth is qualifications (or relevant experience) are pretty important. There’s no point fudging your way through the application stage only for it to be very clear during the interview that you don’t have the skills or experience you need to get the job done. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Stick mainly to jobs that match your existing skillset, even if some of the skills are transferable rather than directly relevant.
You’re turning up unprepared
It may feel like a waste of time to spend hours prepping for an interview when you may not get the job, but lack of preparation is a real turn-off for hiring managers. Take some time to study the employer’s website. What is their core business? What are their values? How do they operate? How does your role fit the bigger picture? It’s fine to ask questions if you’re not able to glean all the information you were looking for, but it may help to drop in snippets from your research to show that you’ve invested time in the process.
You’re not conveying your worth
We all want to know what an employer can offer us if we get the job, but what value can you add for them? It’s important that you’re able to convey this at the interview stage or the chances are you’ll miss out on the opportunity. For example, you may have smashed every sales target at your current firm and believe you can do the same for your new employer. Or maybe you’ve revolutionised the accounts department and are prepared to give their finance segment an overhaul. Work out what they’re really looking for from the job description and person specification and then demonstrate how you can fulfil (or exceed) these expectations.
You’re too negative
It might be that your confidence has taken a knock in your current role or during the job search process. This can easily translate into negativity. Avoid bad-mouthing your colleagues and especially your boss. Step away from anything that might be perceived as blame-shifting. Be positive about what you can bring to the company and who you are as a person. Show enthusiasm for the new role and the firm’s values. Sit up straight and smile!
You’re not dressing well
The old adage, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, doesn’t apply in job interviews. You absolutely will be judged on your appearance, so smarten up! Investing in a new interview outfit could help you look the part and give you a confidence boost. And if you get the job you may be able to make good use of the new togs. Don’t forget to shine your shoes, run a comb through your hair and cover up any offensive tattoos!
You’re not answering the question
Most people get nervous during an interview, but if you’re not answering the questions effectively the interviewer’s job is ten times harder. They will want to compare your answers with those of the other candidates, so it’s important that you answer them carefully. Pause and take a deep breath before answering each one. Ask yourself what they really want to know. It’s a good idea to prep for the most common interview questions (you can google these) before the big day, as some old chestnuts will keep on cropping up.
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