You’ve read all the books about preparing for job interviews. You’ve developed strong answers to commonly asked interview questions. You’ve conducted mock interviews with a friend to improve your interviewing skills.
And then you go to the interview…and the hiring manager hasn’t even read your resume. Or calls you by the wrong name. Or doesn’t ask much beyond “Tell me about yourself.”
This scenario happens more often than you think. While we’re taught that interviewers are all organized and well prepared, ready to ask the tough questions, it’s simply not always the case. With everyone – including managers – doing more with less these days, some just don’t have the time to properly prepare for job interviews.
So what are some other common job interview beliefs that aren’t always true? Here’s a look:
The most experienced person will get the job.
This is probably one of the biggest job interview myths. It’s often the candidate who interviewed the best who actually winds up with the job offer. Even if a certain candidate has more experience and a broader skill set, if they come across as dull or nervous, then the hiring manager will likely hire a more charismatic, confident candidate.
The solution: Prepare and practice. The better prepared you are and the more you practice your answers, the more comfortable you will be during the job interview.
All interviewers are trained in interviewing techniques.
If an HR professional is doing the hiring, then yes, they are most likely well trained in effective interviewing techniques. However, many smaller companies don’t have HR departments or HR managers, so department managers or the company owner does the hiring. And in many cases, they aren’t trained in interviewing so may ask vague questions.
The solution: If you feel like you aren’t being given the opportunity to explain what makes you different and why the interviewer should hire you, then tell them anyway. Have a couple of specific examples from your past jobs that showcase your skill, talent, and ability to deliver positive results.
There’s always a right answer.
When an interviewer asks you, “If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?” they are more interested in how quickly you can think on your feet and deliver an articulate answer…not so much in the actual answer itself. These kinds of questions are also a way for the interviewer to get to know you better, without asking off-limits personal questions.
The solution: It’s ok to pause for a moment to think of your answer. When you do respond, be candid; don’t just give an answer that you think the interviewer wants to hear. When you’re honest, you will come across as more authentic than if you’re just trying to please the interviewer.
An interview means the job is still open.
Some employers are required to post job openings to the public, even though they already have an internal candidate in mind. So, unfortunately, you might just be part of that process. Also, if a mutual colleague referred you, then the interviewer might be interviewing you simply as a courtesy.
The solution: The interviewing process can be like an emotional roll coaster. And you never really know what’s going on behind closed doors at a company you’re interviewing with. So when you do get an interview, don’t put all your proverbial eggs in that basket and assume you’re chances of landing the job are great. Keep looking for other opportunities until you’ve actually gotten a job offer you want to accept.
For additional information and tips on job interviews, check out our posting on 4 things never to say during your next job interview.
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