Interview secured, research done, the job matches your career goals, and you prepped with your recruiter. Nothing can stop you now! But first, read through these interview myths and tips to make sure your interview goes well.
1. HALF-TRUE: You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
The employer is the one to make the job offer—you do not have any decisions to make until they want to hire you. Treat the interview as a sales call and avoid interrogating the hiring manager.
We have often heard candidates say, “The interview went well, the hiring manager addressed all my concerns, and now I think I am interested. This could be a good step for me, let’s go to next steps.” However, the interviewer felt the candidate was off-putting and drilled them with questions. As a result, they passed.
An aggressive interviewing style can cost you the potential of a new position.
2. HALF-TRUE: Always e-mail an immediate thank-you after the interview.
Sending a prompt thank-you is an opportunity to keep your candidacy fresh, reiterate your enthusiasm, and provide closure. Rather than dashing off a few standard lines on your way out the door, take time with the wording, highlighting one or two salient points from the conversation.
This is your last chance to sell yourself. The hiring managers will imagine your note as an example of what would go out to their best customers if they hired you.
Often, thank-you notes are passed along internally as the hiring manager represents you to their peers and managers as a potential hire. Reiterate what specifically you bring to the table. Give them good material to work with in vouching for you.
What if you bombed a question or left out an important point? Your thank-you is a second chance. Avoid negative language, such as “I forgot…” or “I mistakenly said…” Write a few succinct sentences amending your answer in the interview.
See more tips for writing thank-you notes on our website here.
3. HALF-TRUE: Present strengths as a “weakness.”
“What’s your biggest weakness?” Common wisdom says you should answer with a strength posing as a weakness; you care too much, work too hard, etc. These answers come off as insincere.
The better strategy is to accurately self-diagnose a real weakness, explain the steps you took to improve, and relate your success.
“I didn’t have a strong grasp of MS Project, so I took a training course to help my understanding. It’s now my go-to project planning tool.”
“I wasn’t a great public speaker, so I signed up for Toastmasters and pushed myself. Now I lead most of my company’s presentations.”
4. HALF-TRUE: Ask lots of questions.
Do not just kill time with rapid-fire questions at the end of the interview. Good questions highlight your selling points, show understanding, and help you stand out. It is important to prepare a lot of questions, but you will likely not use them all. Many interviewers allow a time slot for questions. If you are caught off guard, the interview may end early, ending your opportunity to bring up key strengths that set you apart from your competition.
The interviewer may answer some questions during the conversation. Ask open-ended questions that prompt dialogue about your skills. Ask specific, targeted questions. As recruiters, the best feedback we can hear is, “Your candidate asked three or four great questions. We could tell they know the space and did their homework.” Quality takes precedence over quantity.
Want personalized interviewing advice? Contact our recruiters directly at [email protected].