5 Ways to Avoid Interviewing Pitfalls

You’ve done your homework, you applied for all the right positions, your resume is stellar, your cover letter is an attention-grabbing work of art, and your interview outfit is impeccable. Everything you’ve done in your career pursuit thus far has led up to the make-or-break pointing of a job interview.

As nerve-wracking as it might be, the interview is your best opportunity to make an impression that hopefully will leave the interviewer with no choice but to hire you. You may have been completely on-point in your job search strategy and tactics, but when the form letter arrives advising you that despite your “impressive credentials” the job went to someone else, it’s time to examine at your interview skills. As a staffing agency in Denver, we’ve seen it all and can offer helpful advice. The first step often requires your willingness to look at your interviewing skills and hone in on the most valuable improvements.

What happened?

Let’s face it: Most people feel about job interviews the same way they feel about root canals — painful perhaps, but usually necessary. By recognizing some of the common pitfalls of the unsuccessful interview, and developing your interview skills you can maximize your chances of creating the impact that puts you above the crowd.

    1. 1. Look and act like you mean it. It’s one of the oldest clichés around, but first impressions are indeed lasting, and there are no second chances. The first thing to know in interview skills is how to dress for the job, offer a good handshake, and make eye contact. Observing simple rules of etiquette and behavior will, at worst, not disqualify you from any position and at best, be the deciding factor that lands you the job.


    1. 2. Listen for clues. It’s not uncommon for interviewers to ask multi-part questions. For sure, your answer will reveal something about your knowledge of the company, its issues, and your potential involvement. Even more importantly, however, interviewers are looking for indications that you are listening and understanding what is being asked.Develop your listening interview skills because your ability to sort through layered questions, focus on the clues provided in the question, and answer appropriately is important. Navigating the questions and listening well is a sure sign that you can handle complex ideas, communicate effectively, and that you are capable of active, productive listening.


    1. 3. Do the research. The chances are around 100 percent that your target company has a website. Use it, along with your favorite search engine. You will be called upon to talk about what you know about the company and how you can contribute. Dig a bit deeper than the marketing copy. Look for press releases, blogs, investor relations pages, and news items that provide insight into the successes, challenges, issues, and performance of your intended new work home.


    1. 4. What are you bringing to the party? All interviewers come armed with one no-brainer request: “Tell me about yourself.” Your response can go one of two ways – you can knock it out of the park, or you can strike out swinging. If there is any part of the interview that you should be prepared for, it is to talk about yourself. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy one to get right. Just be prepared.Write down your one-sentence description of yourself and supplement it with your accomplishments and strengths, particularly as they relate to the job. Practice this interview skill until it becomes second nature. You should feel justifiably good about what you are bringing to the party, and your answers will demonstrate how assured you feel if you get it right.


  1. 5. What do you want to accomplish here? This question can be difficult to answer, but the chances are good that you will be asked for this bit of self-advertising. If your answer is overly broad, it can come off as insincere. If it is too specific, it could seem arrogant. Frame your answer as a clear statement on your intent and goals to portray yourself as someone with a realistic outlook on your ability to contribute and your passion for the work.

Remember: Interviewing skills are mastered through practice, and trial, and error, but they are worth it. Coming across to a potential employer as confident and capable are what give true flesh-and-bones to your resume.

If you are in job search mode, let Colorado Network Staffing (CNS) help you find your next employer. CNS is a leader in staffing, staff augmentation, and contract management by acting as the sole human resource provider for our clients. We are continually looking to fill employment opportunities with the right fit for our clients in a variety of industries. CNS has the experience, resources and top-level management expertise to place the right candidates with the right employers. Search our jobs and apply today.

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