Job Interview Mistakes - Your Behavior Outweighs Your Answers

Are you worried about making job interview mistakes? Nancy prepared long and hard for her job interview. She researched the company, studied the job description, developed and practiced answers for likely questions, dressed appropriately, and arrived early. She really needed the job!

At the job interview, Nancy answered every question well.

Unfortunately, her behavior sabotaged her performance.

When introduced to the interviewer, she said, "Thank you so much for seeing me. I really need this job." After answering one of the questions, she added, "I hope I answered that sufficiently for you. I really need this job." As the interview was ending, the last thing she said was, "Thank you for the opportunity to interview for this job. I really need it!"

Nancy, like many other job candidates, believed that letting the interview know she really needed the job would help her to get it.

But that's not true.

As a matter of fact, being "too desperate" for the job is one of the most common job interview mistakes for which hiring managers will reject you, regardless of your qualifications. If they know how desperate you are, they will wonder to what lengths you will go to get the job - would you exaggerate on your resume or lie during the interview? You don't want them wondering about things like that. Be enthusiastic about the opportunity, but don't be a "Needy Nancy."

Here are six other behaviors to avoid during job interviews (despite the names, all behaviors apply to both men and women):

"Overly Familiar Fred" behaves like he's best buddies with male interviewers, and flirts with female interviewers. He'll smile, wink, joke around and try to come across as God's gift to the hiring manager. It's OK to be friendly and charming to a point, but there's a line you should never cross. Professionalism is paramount. Don't be an "Overly Familiar Fred."

"Aimless Amy" behaves like she wants a job... and any job will do. It's obvious to hiring managers that she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. Be prepared to communicate clear career goals and give compelling reasons why you want the specific job for which you are interviewing.

"Rambling Randy" behaves like he's trying to win a talking contest. He goes on and on, telling personal stories and getting completely away from the point of the question. Listening is as important as talking. Don't talk just to fill a temporary silence from the interviewer. Stories are good, but they should be relevant and brief.

"Emotional Emma" lets her feelings interfere with her performance. If a tricky interviewer insults her appearance or skills to gauge her reaction, she'll become visibly upset - perhaps even burst into tears or hurl insults back at the interviewer. If you have a temper or cry easily - or tend to get overly nervous - focus on remaining calm during the interview, no matter what. I'm not saying you should hide all emotions; no one wants to hire a robot. Let your personality show. But don't be an "Emotional Emma."

"Arrogant Andy" behaves like he's doing the hiring manager a favor by coming in for an interview. He speaks in a condescending tone when answering questions he feels are beneath him. He enjoys bragging about his accomplishments, never mentioning team efforts. He is confident that his qualifications are far superior to those of other candidates. He's sure the interview is just a formality, and believes the job is his if he really wants it. No matter how qualified you are, it's more important to be likeable. No one will hire an egotistical jerk.

"Timid Tina" behaves like she's afraid to be noticed. She avoids eye contact, speaks in a quiet voice, answers questions with the fewest words possible, and rarely smiles. When asked if she has any questions as the interview winds down, she quickly says "No," and looks longingly at the door, eager to escape. Many people are shy; very few people enjoy being interviewed. But no matter how desperately you wish someone would hire you based solely on your resume, it's not going to happen - you'll have to talk your way into the job. Force yourself to show confidence and enthusiasm. After all, you have a lot to offer! You can't offer anyone anything if you're afraid to be noticed.

Remember, at the job interview, your behavior outweighs your answers! Don't make any of these job interview mistakes.

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Additional Job Interview Q&A; Info

For even more information about job interview questions and how to answer them, consider the "Job Interview Success System."

One of the 5 key components of this system is a 31-page report entitled "How to Give Job-Winning Answers to Interview Questions." In addition to giving more tips and strategies on general answering techniques, it lists 45 of the easiest, toughest, silliest and most common job interview questions as well as how to respond to them.