48 percent of hiring managers said they know within the first five minutes of an interview whether or not they will hire a person, in a recent survey.

Even candidates with years of experience and a strong skill set don’t always sell their qualities effectively. It’s critical to pay close attention to even the smallest details and to avoid the following common interview blunders.

Not Knowing the Job and the Company

You put yourself at an immediate disadvantage if you fail to prepare for your interview by thoroughly researching the employer and the position.

  • Take your research above and beyond the company website. Use your professional network and industry publications. Learn the firm’s current business priorities, as well as its competition and market position.
  • Job or Job Description.  Rely on your recruiter or network to really understand the requirements and responsibilities for the position.  Job Descriptions don’t always detail this and end up many times being a ‘wish list’.

Talking Too Much – or Too Little

As you respond to questions, you need to strike the right balance in providing information. Both extremes – saying too much or saying very little – can create a negative impression.

  • If your responses are too brief, your interviewer may think you’re hiding something. On the other hand, if you ramble on, they may simply tune you out.
  • Practice ahead of time. Anticipate questions that may be asked, based on your research, and then practice. Have a trusted friend or colleague serve as your mock interviewer. Then you can perfect and refine your answers, ensuring that they are the appropriate length.
  • Listen. Pay attention to and absorb what the other person is saying during your interview. They may provide useful clues that allow you to tailor your answers accordingly.
  • Ask questions. Be ready with your own questions at the end of the conversation. Prepare a few before you arrive, and write down any additional issues that arise during the interview.

Not Being Yourself

Be careful not to become so focused on saying the “right thing” that you fail to give an accurate portrayal of your personality, skills and interests.

  • Don’t overstate your case. It behooves you to present a TRUE picture of your qualifications. Be sure you ask specific questions about the company’s mission and expectations to determine whether they are realistic and in line with your own goals and preferences.

The professional recruiters at Talent Bridge take a candidate-driven approach to providing job search advice and leading you through the interviewing and hiring process. Read our related posts or contact us today for more information.