Developing Your Career

The Top Three Reasons You May Have Blown the Interview

By Greg Simpson on February 26, 2013

If you’re getting calls for interviews but never getting an offer, you may be making some very basic mistakes. According to HR Managers and Recruiters, the most detrimental issues for candidates have the potential to arise during the interview process itself.  What’s tripping up job seekers?  In Better Hires, Better Business, LHH’s study on hiring trends, the research cites these top interviewing mistakes:

  • Poor communication during the interview. While aptitude and attitude are important,  how a candidate talks about himself and his experience is equally important.  Job seekers need to project confidence while making a clear business case for hire.
  • A lack of preparedness. Conducting thorough research on an organization and its industry are requirements in today’s competitive job market. And practice responding to potential interview questions. Interview practice works to boost confidence and improve communication skills.
  • Poor behaviors.  Arriving late, wearing inappropriate attire or poor interview decorum are all behaviors that will raise red flags. Three-quarters of HR managers and recruiters cited top detractors as showing up late or dressing inappropriately while 85 percent of recruiters identified poor interview decorum as a deal breaker. Again, this reinforces the importance of paying attention not only to the skills you bring to the table, but to the perception you’re creating as a complete “package.”

When assessing whether to hire or place a candidate, both HR managers and recruiters agree that the most important factor in developing an overall positive impression is the ability to communicate well during the interview. And for many candidates, their communication skills are simply a reflection of how well they’ve prepared for the interview. Preparation and communication are inexorably linked: With preparation and practice comes confidence, and with confidence comes the heightened ability to communicate smoothly and successfully.

4 Responses to “The Top Three Reasons You May Have Blown the Interview”

  1. D. Ola

    Excellent points! All the same, my experience in the last year included:
    A. company where the interviewing team was terribly unprepared
    B. I traveled thousand of miles to Europe in business class (paid for by the company), yet there was no single HR rep among the interview team.
    C. Interviewed focused on ancient questions of what I did 20 years ago (company is 150 years old anyway).
    C. Another company in the mid-west, the hiring manage ( a VP) was asking for written responses to detail technical questions (usually asked at face-to-face). I think, she was out to collect information for her own growth.

    Greg, not all rejections are due to candidate’s performance. Sometimes, excellent and well prepared candidates “outshine” the company!

    • Raul

      I agree with D. Ola in everything, it’s been like that not just now, but for a long time, but unfortunately, as many recruiters ans HR will mentioned the famous “overqualified” word, they too act like that leaving the company to work for the best offer.
      Greg, is like D. Ola mentioned at the end, they are excellent candidates well prepared that in most cases scared the HR Department and the interviewers.
      Does this is the candidates fault or error????

  2. B. Bell

    I have to agree with D.Ola’s comments as that has been both my experience and observation. Most executives and interviewing teams show little skill or capability with interviewing technique. Some plan to hire people only to position themselves better with their CEO giving little thought to the proper reasons for hiring the person. Very few employers do a solid job of developing their hiring managers’ skill in this area. While the three reasons cited in this blog are true, also true is the fact that many employers lack the fundamental understanding of hiring for fit, qualifications, and contribution. As a result they miss out on top talent when they interview because that talent quickly realizes the company doesn’t present itself as a desirable employer. Interviewing is a two way street. The employer doesn’t think so but they are in fact being screened equally as much as they think they are doing with their best candidates.

  3. Kevin

    I too, have had rejections from several interviews and the one which I remember most was being interviewed by two people who gave the appearance of being Interviewers for the first time. They took a lot of notes, prompted each other and only managed to relax after the formal interview when we went to the coffee machine.
    I was declined the job, (much to the chagrin of the Manager for that company who invited me to the interview). I know I was the best man for the job. Happily, I walked into a better paid job within a week. Part of the problem as I see it is, if the company is too big, they outsource people to conduct the interviews. The Interviewers can sometimes know nothing about the business, are unable to match the skills of the interviewee with the job on offer. It then all boils down to the skills of the interviewee at being interviewed, not the actual skills of the interviewee.


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