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August 27, 2015

3 Reasons Interviews Fail and How to Avoid Them

Interviews

Jeff Cochran

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Despite our technologically-driven world, face to face interviews remain a key component of any negotiation. Whether you’re a prospective employee netting your first interview or a seasoned professional negotiating with an important client, interview skills are paramount. But sometimes interviews fail, and you may be bewildered as to why. Today, we’ll discuss the top reasons you didn’t ace your interview and how to avoid them in the future.

Reason 1: Rudeness

Hopefully, most of us wouldn’t walk into an interview or negotiation and make snide comments about the interviewer or stick our feet on the desk. However, there are subtle examples of rudeness that are just as harmful. For instance, you should avoid blunt, impertinent questions.

If you left your last job due to low pay, don’t start the question-and-answer session with, “How long would it be before I got a raise?” If you’ve heard the client you’re negotiating with had an EEOC complaint filed against him, don’t ask about it. He won’t answer, and he’ll assume you think the worst of everyone you meet. Additionally, don’t do small, potentially rude things such as drumming your fingernails on the chair arm.

Reason 2: Lies

If your resume says you worked for your last company for a year, but you tell the interviewer it was eight months, he or she will assume you’re lying. Most interviewers can also spot resume padding a mile away, so don’t claim you’re proficient in French because you made an A in French II senior year of college.

Additionally, don’t fib to make the employer feel good; for example, don’t say you’ll accept a certain salary when you really need more. Employers respect people who are open. Double-check your resume for any inconsistencies, no matter how small. Be assertive – but not aggressive – in negotiations, and offer to explain anything the interviewer has questions about.

Reason 3: Cluelessness

Few things irritate an employer or client more than an interviewee who doesn’t know much about the job or company. Do plenty of research before the interview, even if you won’t be working with this client long or the job is an entry-level position. Ask company-specific questions such as, “Does your special education program embrace full or partial inclusion?” If you don’t do your homework, it sends the message you don’t care and would prefer not to work with the company or client. In this case, you will not get the job or deal.

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