As a professional seeking to establish your career, do you find yourself going to job interviews and getting the same disheartening results? Do you see yourself as more of a ‘failure’ than other people and are wondering where you are going wrong? Well, there are five major reasons why some people keep on doing badly in interviews and it depends on which ones among them might be affecting you most.
1. A lack of SELF-BELIEF.
If you don’t believe you will get the job, I would stop right there. Pointless going to the interview. It’s like having a big sign on your chest saying “Don’t hire me. I am useless!” When you lack self-belief, you lack faith and determination as well, so why should someone choose you above another person who clearly thinks they are best for the job? If you don’t think you are suitable, that you are just what they are seeking, who on earth will think you are? It’s like asking the company to accept what you readily reject: You!
To have someone put their faith in you, YOU have to start with faith in yourself. You have to genuinely believe you can add something to that organization and show what it is. If you cannot do that, you would be wrong for the position as you would only end up feeling overwhelmed, taking from the company but giving very little back. In simple terms, self-belief generates the CONFIDENCE to put yourself across, and, without that, you start at a disadvantage. A simple way to boost self-belief is to LIST up to 10 things you can offer that job, how you could make a real difference. It is very empowering seeing it in print and you would also be ready with your answers.
2. SEEKING APPROVAL.
We underestimate how much we seek approval when we go to interviews. We are so desperate to be liked, and to be given a job, we will say anything to an employer, hoping that is what they want to hear, never mind that it doesn’t really match with our personality or aspirations! When you can go to an interview and genuinely don’t care whether you get the job or not, you will be half way to getting what you really want because you will say only the things that matter to you, and show the things you truly value. In this way, you will shine above the rest because you are simply being you. And by being you, the employer will be able to make a clearer choice as to whether you share anything with them and will fit into their environment or not.
3. Not doing your HOMEWORK.
What is the point of being interviewed by a company that you know nothing about? How will you decide how you can contribute to its growth or what you will gain from it? The minute you are asked to attend an interview, you need to research on the organization’s history, service, products, ethos, reputation, conditions and potential. Identify the areas in which you could make a difference and where you would be most comfortable. Highlight the things you definitely align with and what you don’t, so you can test your levels of comfort working for them. What will YOU get from them, and how? At least when they reach the crucial part about: Do you have any questions to ask us? You’ll be ready with a file full to show your understanding of their objectives and agenda.
4. Choosing the WRONG EMPLOYER.
Often, because we are so desperately seeking a job, we come to believe that any job will do. But when we are doing something for spurious or superficial reasons it will soon be out. It can be spotted a mile by the interviewers. For example, what is the point of applying for a job in the Army, just because they give a cash advance, if you hate taking orders from anyone. Sooner or later you will come unstuck. You can apply for any job you see, but only attend interviews for the jobs you REALLY care about and are sure you can do. In that way you will prepare for it to the best of your ability and you’re more likely to be successful. You can always change your career field. But you have to show that, despite your lack of experience, you could offer a lot more to the role than expected. So don’t be afraid of going after any job in the world. Just be SURE that’s the one you really want when you make the time to attend the interview.
5. Not taking the INTERVIEW seriously enough.
Sometimes we become punch-drunk with interviewing, if we have been on too many, using one employer to judge another, or become demoralised by not being selected. Either way, it can tempt us to just go through the motions. That is not advisable. You cannot please everyone so don’t go into too much soul searching after every interview, especially if all five of these elements are in place. Just keep reminding yourself that the right job for you WILL come along. As long as you are prepared emotionally and physically, and do your best, it will happen. But the minute you become resigned or lose that self-belief, you are really lost. Try to keep your spirits up by going on training courses, talking to friends, taking encouragement from those who matter to you. And just keep at it. You do get there in the end if you have that faith, the patience and determination to succeed.