Life at Deloitte
Six mistakes not to make on an interview
by Michael Neece, Monster contributing writer
It's tough to avoid typical interview traps if you're unsure what they are. Here are six to watch out for.
Mistake #1: Confusing an interview with an interrogation
Most candidates expect to be interrogated. An interrogation occurs when one person asks all the questions and the other gives the answers. An interview is a business conversation in which both people ask and respond to questions. Candidates who expect to be interrogated avoid asking questions, leaving the interviewer in the role of reluctant interrogator. So, the tip is to go to the interview prepared with questions!
Mistake #2: Making a so-called weakness seem positive
Interviewers frequently ask candidates, "What are your weaknesses?" Traditional interview wisdom tells you to take a weakness such as "I'm a perfectionist," and turn it into a positive one. However, interviewers are not impressed by such a response – as it is been used hundreds of times before. So instead of using this approach, highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and describe what you are doing to enhance it. Takeaway: Interviewers do not want to focus on your weaknesses; they are more interested to see how you handle this question – as it tells them much more about you.
Mistake #3: Not asking any questions
You know that the interview is coming to an end when the interviewer asks you, “Do you have any questions for me?” Answering “no” is perhaps the worst response, as it indicates either you are not interested, or not prepared. So before each interview, make a list of five questions you will ask. "I think a good question is, ‘Can you tell me about your career?'" says Kent Kirch, Director Global Talent Acquisition & Mobility, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. "Everybody likes to talk about themselves, so you are probably pretty safe asking that question."
Mistake #4: Researching the company but not yourself
Candidates intellectually prepare by researching the company. Most job seekers do not research themselves by taking inventory of their experience, knowledge, and skills. Formulating a list of accomplishments prepares you to immediately respond to any question about your experience. You must be prepared to discuss any part of your background. Interviewers usually start the interview with, “So tell me about yourself.” Do not babble endlessly. Highlight the key points from your academic and professional career – those that they will be interested to hear.
Mistake #5: Leaving your cellphone on
We may live in a wired, always-available society, but a ringing cellphone is not appropriate for an interview. Turn it off before you enter the company.
Mistake #6: Waiting for a call
Before leaving an interview, inquire about the next steps/stages of the recruitment process. This will allow you to plan your next move. Typically, you can send a thank you email to the interviewer a few days later, with follow-up questions, if you have any.
Source: ‘Six Interview Mistakes’ by Michael Neece, Monster contributing writer to career-advice.monster.com