The excitement of getting interviews starts to fade when time after time you fail to land job offers. Since most interviewers are reluctant to give detailed feedback, it's rarely possible to learn exactly what went wrong and fix those mistakes. You can still get better at presenting yourself to employers by reflecting on your behavior in interviews. Look back on past experiences to see if harmful habits are costing you a job offer.
Here's a common scenario. You sailed through the interview. You kept the conversation going without missing a beat, charmed all the right people and even got a few laughs out of the interviewer. In your mind, you came across as the perfect hire — smart, confident and conversational.
From the interviewer's perspective, you might have talked so much that it was impossible to get a word in. Did you repeatedly cut people off or dominate the conversation? Talking too much can make you seem overbearing and self-centered. It's also hard to develop good answers to interview questions when you never stop and listen to the hiring manager's concerns.
Weak or Dubious Answers
Personal stories play a big role in convincing interviewers you're ready for the job. Hiring managers want someone with proven experience in a given role. Don't expect a job offer if you gave poor or barely related examples of how you solved problems and took the lead. The same goes for dishonest, inflated answers. Skilled interviewers are good at spotting candidates who overstate their experience, and no one wants to hire a fraud.
Maybe you didn't do anything wrong, but the competition had more to offer. When you're competing with scores of candidates for one opening, the odds of a job offer aren't very high. Interviewers want to find the candidate who is best qualified to succeed in an employer's specific environment. Your competitors might have the right balance of skills or unique experience that makes them better suited for the job.
Poor Tone or Body Language
Do you have a hard time showing enthusiasm or maintaining a neutral tone when discussing past jobs? An innocent joke about your old boss or complaints about a frustrating project could sound whiny or cynical to interviewers. Pay attention to nonverbal communication as well. Tense or antsy facial expressions and body language can give you away, even when you're saying all the right things.
No matter how well you sell your skills, many interviewers are turned off when you don't bother to ask for more details about the position. Hiring managers want a candidate who takes the time to understand the employer's business challenges before accepting a job offer. If you have no interview questions and seem eager to take the job under any circumstances, interviewers may see you as a desperate job seeker.
Your success in job interviews is a combination of preparation and chance. Interview tactics that impress one employer may alienate another, so it's important to look for environments where you naturally fit into the culture. Avoid throwing in the towel if you're struggling to win job offers. Instead, look for ways to improve your presentation and expand your experience to make yourself stand out for the right reasons.
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