Here’s a job search tip: if your interviewer’s counting her yawns, it doesn’t matter how qualified you are for the position—the job offer isn’t coming.
So, what mind-numbing mistakes are costing you work? More importantly, how can you keep the conversation lively while also coming across as professional?
If you really want to bore your interviewer, go one (or more!) of these routes:
1. Offer a Weak Introduction
It’s true in dating, and it rings even more true when interviewing for a job: First impressions matter. And they’re made quickly.
Your interviewer might be smitten by your good manners and positive energy, or turned off by your listless handshake and quiet “hello.” Fair or not, you can win or lose the job within the first few minutes.
Introduce yourself with confidence, be personable and show sincere enthusiasm about working for the company. If you can make your mark quickly, you’ll set a positive tone for the rest of the interview, enabling you to make a lasting good impression.
2. Speak Without Energy
“Uhhh… like… I guess my strength is… you know …my ability to…umm…”
While this may okay at school, or among your friends, in the professional world you will induce a coma talking like this! Your delivery, inflection and tone of voice should reflect your attitude about the job. This doesn’t mean you need to talk like a theater major; just don’t speak in a monotone voice, use a bunch of fillers or sit in your chair like a statue.
Give careful responses, but also use your voice and body language to show you’re excited about the job and a fun person to work with.
3. Give Long-Winded Answers
No matter how hard you try, or how long you talk, you can’t disguise a bad answer by dressing it up with a bunch of irrelevant words.
Talking too much is often a sign that you’re nervous or digging deep to find something—anything—to say. And while you’re shoveling words like dirt into your interviewer’s face, she probably mentally checked out minutes ago.
Pause before you give an answer. And when you do open your mouth, make sure your response stays on point, relates to the job and highlights why you’re the ideal candidate.
4. Don’t Relate Your Answers Back to the Job Description
Sure, your greatest strength might be your lightning-fast reading skills, but that has nothing to do with the sales job you want. If your answers veer off track during the interview, you’ll lose the interviewer’s attention and, worse yet, the job.
Focus your responses on what the company needs.
What is that, exactly? Just look at the job description, which should be your cheat sheet for all the necessary job duties, skills and qualifications. Once you look it over, jot down how your experience and skills match what the company’s looking for with this hire.
5. Allow Yourself to Blend into the Crowd
Maybe you run marathons. Perhaps you’re in a band. Maybe you raise miniature kittens. Whatever it is, there’s something that makes you unique. So if you have a chance to bring up your unique “something” in a natural and relevant way, go for it!
Being remembered as “the person who climbed Everest” would be a good conversation piece. Serving as a volunteer leader in the community will make you stand out. Plus, these differentiators show that you’re driven, goal-oriented and interesting.
If you see the recruiter isn’t exactly engaged, take charge. Increase your energy and eye contact. Change the pace by asking your well-researched questions. Speak a little louder, and with more passion. Most important, keep these tips in mind… and avoid boring the crap out of the recruiter or hiring manager.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brazen Careerist!
About the Author: Rocco Brown-Morris is the Content Team Manager for www.livecareer.com, America’s #1 Resume Builder. Check them out at www.facebook.com/livecareer or on Google+ for advice and tips on all things career- and resume-related.
Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.