The 3 biggest interview mistakes
You received the email, you’ve been invited to interview! A surge of hope fills you and you feel relieved and delighted that you have been selected. But then, the doubt and the nerves start to seep in;
- What if I mess up?
- What if everyone else is more experienced than me?
- What if I forget everything in the moment?
- How will I know what they are going to ask me?
Interview nerves are normal.
Afterall, putting yourself out there is a big deal. Now that you are being invited up to the stage, when the curtains open will you fall, or will you shine?
Here are the three biggest interview mistakes I see people make:
- You’re not putting in the time to prepare
Even if your interview is scheduled for tomorrow, the best time to prepare was yesterday, the second best time is now. You owe it to yourself, and the people interviewing you to show up prepared.
Too often I see people say to me they don’t know how to prepare, or, absurdley, that they don’t want to ‘over prepare’. I’m pretty sure no one at the Olympics missed out on a training day because they didn’t want to be too good….
Even if you are 100% qualified for the role, someone less experienced, but more prepared and therefore more ready to communicate their value, show their personality and talk about their skills in a more impactful way, could still get the role over you. Showing up unprepared will show, even when you are perfectly qualified for the role — which, in itself, probably means you are applying for the wrong role.
Don’t mistake preparation for over confidence — how you present yourself is key. So put in the work and give yourself the time and energy to look into the role, think about how your experience is relevant, and do your research.
2. You’re in a negative mindset
Mindset is powerful. Your mindset is the way in which you perceive the world and in this case, the way you are going into your interview could make or break your interview.
True, innate confidence means knowing (not just cognitively understanding) that your worth and your value are NOT the same.
What does this mean?
You are worthy. Period.
Your interview is not about your worth. So if you are feeling scared of failure, feel discomfort about being judged, assessed or panel reviewed in any way, then it’s important to distinguish what is at stake here. What’s at stake is your ability to communicate your value.
Even if you are not the most experienced, even if this role is a huge stretch, the thing you need to focus on and work on is the way you communicate your value. Trust me, if they are inviting you to interview, it’s because you have something they want. So ditch those negative thoughts, and turn every single what if, into something that will serve you. Try these on for size:
- What if I am exactly right for this job
- What if I get on with the interviewers really well
- What if I go in and do my best
- What if they want someone just like me
- What if they do take a chance on me
- What if they do see how much potential and value I bring to the table.
Notice the shift?
Energy is powerful! Don’t underestimate how positive energy can shift the way the interviewers experience you too.
From personal experience, the more desirably confident a candidate is, the more likely I am to want to work with you. Interviewing someone who is overly nervous, lacking self confidence and conviction in their capabilities casts doubt on their ability to adapt to a new environment, push back to stakeholders and make an impact in a new role.
Don’t go into the interview doubting yourself, as you will end up discounting yourself before they have even met you and at worse, encouraging the interviewers to discount you based on the energy you give off.
3. You’re not taking control of your job search
The interview is always a two way process. Yes, without them wanting to progress you to the offer stage there isn’t much you can do (within reason), however, if they do, then it is critical that you know if you want them.
You are job searching for a reason. You want something. They just have a vacancy to fill. You have your whole career on the line.
Perhaps you want more money, more challenge, more benefits, more growth, a better manager, culture, commute, work-life balance (insert your highest priorities values here).
Unless you take control of your interview and leverage the opportunity to get your questions answered then you are becoming the passenger of your own job search. You need to be in the driver’s seat at all times.
Being crystal clear on what your values are, what your deal makers and deal breakers are KEY to you knowing if this opportunity is right for you or not. Use this information to form your questions.
You have an opportunity here to very deliberately and consciously take control of your job search and be sure you are on the right path.
What is the right path? Only you can answer that by knowing yourself, trusting your intuition, and using the opportunities available to fact find and make informed decisions.
Accepting a job offer is awesome, but before you do, walking away from one from an EMPOWERED place is incredibly liberating. Accepting the first thing that comes your way out of fear of not getting anything else is not how you build a conscious and successful career.
If you want to take charge of your career, learn how to prepare, and feel confident about your interview then access the free Interview Confidence Clinic today. Click here.