Why Candidates Fail Job Interviews – Top 8 Mistakes

Have you ever wondered why people fail job interviews? We have put 8 mistakes together to understand more about this matter.

#1 They are not prepared!

They are not prepared Essentially the interview process is a selling activity and you, the interviewee, are the product. If you do not know the product inside out and back to front you will not be able to secure the job. If the salesman cannot answer the questions on the topics that the buyer needs to know about, then a sale, that is the job offer, is most unlikely.

#2 They don’t understand what the interviewer wants!

They do not think through what the interviewer wants The interviewer has a problem: there are things in the organisation that need to be done and currently are not happening because of a staff shortage. By the time the vacancy has landed on the HR recruiter’s desk, the requirements are pretty well nailed down in terms of specifics about what has required and the sort of person best suited to the position. These requirements usually form and underpin the structure and language of the job. advert. So many applicants work really hard on their preliminary paperwork and CV to get to the selection stage and then subsequently fail to prepare for the interview with the same amount of diligence and effort.


#3 They concentrate on what they want out of a job/employer rather than on what they have to offer

Of course, you want the job for the money, the status and what it is going to do for your future career prospects but if you approach the interview from this perspective you will surely fail. No shopkeeper puts a big sign in capital letters and flashing neon lights outside their shop saying: “Come in because we want to make a profit out of you’. No, they present the wares, goods and services in the best possible way they can hope that you will choose them and what they are offering rather than taking your custom somewhere else.

#4 They do not know what it is they are presenting (selling) to the employer

This relates to not knowing yourself as a product. Even if the job titles happen to be identical, no two jobs in different organisations are ever the same. It does not matter if you are an accountant or road sweeper, a research chemist or if you work in the mailroom, positions are always organisation specific with their own peculiarities and special needs. Like fighting a war, the better your intelligence, the better your chance of winning.

#5 They cannot express themselves fluently!

Interviews are unfair to half the world of people that we label as introverts. Extroverts during interviews get a good deal because they “talk – think – talk’ whereas introverts think-talk-think. The implication here is that introverts if we can stereotype them, tend to be slower in speech because they much prefer to provide considered answers. The difficulty is that most interviewers want the information quickly so that they can move on to the next candidate. Unfortunately for the slow speakers amongst us, the research suggests that people who are really fluent are rated by the ordinary person as being more intelligent, with better interpersonal skills and make better managers. This is obviously nonsense and untrue but we are dealing with perceptions here. Then there is the problem of the ‘tip of the tongue phenomena.

#6 They lack rapport skills

Interviewers are human and will recruit people they like and with whom they can get on. After all, they are going to have to work with you. Why would you take on people that you thought were geeks or you did not like? If you demonstrate rapport skills during and after the interview then this will go a long way to smoothing the relationship between yourself and the interviewer and make you a more attractive candidate.

#7 They suffer from anxiety

Unfortunately, interviews are like exams and, as unfair as it is, it is how you perform on the day that counts. Replays and second takes do not occur in interviews. Selection would be great, and much fairer, if it were like continuous assessment at school, then your true worth could be demonstrated, but the interview is a one-shot affair. If you suffer from nerves that interfere with your memory, thinking ability, speaking fluently or rapport skills, then you must do something about this to secure the position you want.

#8 They ‘white elephant’ themselves

You white elephant yourself when you volunteer negative information about yourself when it was not requested by the interviewer. Before the interview you keep reminding yourself that you must not tell the interviewer about your white elephant (for example, that you are not well qualified) then in the middle of the interview you say something like ‘Although I don’t have an MBA … and you have just gift wrapped and delivered your white elephant.

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Jonathan Brookes
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