Interview Mistakes to Avoid

March 4, 2017 by  

It seems that due to the differences in the way women and men communicate, that a few extra rules need to be considered during an interview. These issues can apply to men however, they must be carefully contemplated by women.

Here are some issues to consider.
1. Appear Stiff:
Perception is everything, and the power of likeability almost always trumps experience. A lot of women are good at connecting with others, but for some reason, they seem to turn the ability off when they go into an interview. Just be yourself and let your personality, energy, and optimism be evident to the interviewer. This demonstrates to your potential boss just how passionate you are about the position.

2. Talk Too Much:
Women tend to talk too much in interviews. Experts suggest that the hiring manager should speak for at least 60 percent of the interview. Any prospective candidate should keep their responses to less than one minute and watch for signs that the interviewer is actively engaged. The engagement can be confirmed by the body language of the interviewer. Remember to spend 60 percent of your time listening and only about 60 seconds talking.
Many women are reluctant to tout their accomplishments, fearing they’ll appear arrogant or overly ambitious. All prospective candidates should clearly and confidently state their achievements and talents when the time is appropriate, to show how they will be valuable to the organization. (This is not usually a problem that men have.)

3. Not Negotiating the Offer:
One of the biggest and most overlooked interview mistakes made by women is accepting a job offer without negotiating for a better deal. Women tend to have a depressed perception of the market and often set salary targets too low–sometimes as much as 30 percent lower than their male counterparts. This means it is very important to do your due diligence ahead of time and find out what the market rate is for this sort of position. There are websites that can help you with this information. You can check out: salary.com as well as speak to job recruiters in your network to determine the current pay rate. Again, men tend to not be afraid to ask for what they feel they are worth.

4. Inappropriate Dress:
With a wider range of clothing to choose from, it’s easier for women to make a fashion faux pas as opposed to men.
A common mistake that women can make is appearing “too flashy,” by showing too much skin or wearing too much makeup. This can damage an applicant’s chances for employment.
Instead, you may want to as around or even go to the business and see what employees are wearing so you can take note of how formal or casual they are. It is always best to keep colors muted, choosing navy blue, dark gray, or black, and tone down your jewelry and makeup. A good rule of thumb is to dress one step up from the position you’re applying for. It’s always better to overdress than under-dress.

5. Worrying Too Much:
Women tend to worry more than men. Anxiety can be seen during an interview and will project a lack of confidence. What could be temporary stress will come likely appear as a nervous personality.
It is better to walk into an interview thinking that they are going to absolutely adore you. That sort of positive energy will have a much greater impact on the way the interview will go. Also, try to exude positive nonverbal cues during the interview, such as a smile, good posture, and a firm handshake.
6. Failure to Market Yourself:
This is an issue that almost exclusively affects women because, unlike men, who can seemingly get away with appearing arrogant or pushy, women tend to be too modest about their accomplishments. The interview is the time to project confidence and pride in your work, not reticence, so you show the interviewer how you will valuable to the organization.
Applicants should only focus on the assets they will bring to the job, instead of anything negative.

7. Issuing Disclaimers:
Women frequently “testify against themselves,” saying something like this, “To be honest, I haven’t actually been in charge of an entire division, but …” Instead, the candidate should answer with something like this: “I’ve always been great at motivating a team, and could apply those same skills as a manager here.”
Prefacing an answer with a disclaimer cancels out whatever positive information will follow. Therefore, it is important to concentrate on strengths as opposed to perceived insecurities. Sometimes an interviewer with as about weaknesses, then you must give an answer that shows you are aware of the issue and what you have done to overcome it.

8. Talking About Unfamiliar Topics:
If an interviewer asks you questions on an unfamiliar topic, you should respond by saying, “that’s a really good question, however, I’ll need to do a little research first before I can respond,” or, “I haven’t encountered that superior.” Also, it is not really necessary to bone up on things you’re not familiar with just to impress your interviewer. Remember to be true to who you are and what your expertise is.

Remember that the organization has a position to fill, and positioning yourself to fit the needs will benefit both you and the potential employer. Another thing to remember is that the interviewer generally knows less about what you’ve accomplished and sometimes less about the job than you do. You are the expert on you so be sure to “market” that effectively during the interview!

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