5 Warning Signs That Your Interview Skills Stink

There are many things that can go wrong in a job interview. No matter how hard you try, some things just have a way of going awry. To help you determine whether you’re an ace interviewee or can benefit from a brush-up, here are the top 5 warning signs that your interview skills stink:

1. You have not made an impression on the interviewer.

You are scrutinized and evaluated from the moment you step inside the interview room. The way you carry yourself and the way you dress for the occasion help make the first impression on the employer, and will certainly affect the outcome of the meeting. If you think that a pair of jeans and a polo shirt passes as semi-formal business attire, think again. Arriving late and keeping the interviewer waiting are also bad signs, because those actions will be interpreted as a lack of interest on your part. Moreover, the employer may believe that they reflect your character traits, and judge you to be an unorganized and undependable person. Instead, you should carry yourself confidently and dress to impress. Give the interviewer a firm handshake to let him know that you mean business.

2. You can’t match the communication style of the interviewer.

You don’t have to be an expert conversationalist or social butterfly to get on the interview’s good side; just match the communication style of the interviewer. If the interviewer is all business, then avoid making funny remarks or jokes. However, if he is more informal, then you can also be more relaxed in the way you address him. Be that although the tone is friendlier, you still need to display respect to the interviewer. But no matter what the employer’s communication style, getting tongue tied, stuttering, etc. are to be avoided. Don’t be nervous, just be yourself!

3. You talk constantly about yourself.

This is one warning sign not to be taken lightly. Talking excessively about yourself while veering off from the main discussion of the position or company is a big turnoff for interviewers. Listening is an integral part of this scenario. To be an effective interviewee, you should keep your answers simple, concise, and detailed but to-the-point. Check yourself from time to time to ensure that you don’t get too comfortable. After all, it is a professional meeting.

4. You keep interrupting the interviewer.

Even if you feel like you already understand the question and can answer well or if you already have clarification questions, it’s not smart to butt in before the interviewer is finished speaking. This just depicts you as an impolite person. Let the interviewer finish the question before you answer. Be professional. Asking clarification questions after the interview is finished speaking not only demonstrates better manners, it solidifies your interest in the position.

5. You go in for the interview unprepared.

This is a problem that cannot be fixed once the interview starts. Research the company and the position, and your compatibility with them, beforehand and familiarize yourself with the essential information so you won’t be left guessing when the employer asks you a question. You should also anticipate some questions that will be asked during the interview and prepare specific answers for those. If, during your research or the interview process, you come across any questions for the employer, you should make a note of those as well and ask them at the end of the interview.

It’s normal to feel nervous and have butterflies in your stomach when interviewing for your dream job. But you shouldn’t let nervousness get the best of you and potentially ruin your chances of getting hired. Be prepared and try your best. And, whether or not your interview turns out well, don’t forget to end the meeting graciously and follow up with a thank-you note to the employer.