Guest Author - Dianne Walker
"Why didn't I get the job?" This is often the first question candidates ask themselves after the interview. The interview was perfect. You answered every question perfectly. The interviewer smiled a lot and seemed genuinely interested. So what happened? Why didn’t you get the job? Perhaps it's time to take a moment to revisit your interview technique.
You need to fully understand the enormity of the fight you’re up against for a job. One simple online job posting can receive hundreds of applications. If you were one of the lucky ones to get selected for an interview, then obviously it was not your resume or application that failed. As harsh as it may seem, the problem may have been your interview. You may be your own worst enemy when it comes down to getting hired.
Did you answer the questions exactly as asked? If the interviewer asked you to give a specific example or describe something in detail, did you? Did you tell a specific story relating your experience to the question? Often candidates will provide a vague answer to questions requiring specific examples. Even with additional probing from the interviewer, they do not provide a detailed example. Don't provide a definition; provide the example they asked for.
Another problem that many candidates have is staying on target in their response. You start off answering the question, but then deviate to a response that has absolutely nothing to do with the question. The interviewer is left wondering what you’re talking about. Remember the interviewer is not there to listen to your musings, stay on target.
Has desperation set in to the point where you're becoming argumentative with the interviewer? Sometimes candidates have become so disillusioned with interviewing, they don’t care anymore. Not realizing that they have met the first hurdle by being selected for an interview, they come across as having a bad attitude. Forget about the other bad interviews, you have this opportunity to start again and do well.
Did you share too much information? Did the interviewer seem genuinely interested when you shared the story about how you had to move because of your awful spouse and subsequent divorce? Sure they listened, they had already decided not to hire you the minute you started your unprofessional story. If you believe your life story might make a difference in the hiring decision, you’re right; it will knock you right out of the competition. Keep your personal life to yourself.
Did you keep your body under control? Excessive fidgeting, crossing your arms, rolling your eyes, and heavy sighing will not show you in a good light. Keep control of your body, facial expressions and any other disrespectful sounds such as heavy sighing.
Relax, but don't get too comfortable. Remember, a good interviewer can relax you to the point where you feel like you're talking to a good friend. Unfortunately, candidates tend to overshare when that happens. Be honest, be sincere but do not let your guard down.
Keep in mind, the interviewer’s job is to remain pleasant throughout the interview process. They will continue to smile, and nod encouragement throughout the interview. Their response does not mean that you have the job in the bag. Remain professional, focus on skills and you will stand a better chance of acing the interview.
Addtional resources from Amazon.com
Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job
Interview Skills: How to Get Hired NOW! Quick Job Interview Success Tips (Interview Quick Tip Series)