Did you fail a job interview or receive a job offer ? Have you ever gone to an interview and never heard a thing after it was over? Didn’t you wonder why you didn’t get the job? Very few companies will tell you how you did during a job interview. It’s possible you will never hear from companies who rejected you – at all! And, you won’t know why you didn’t get the job.
So, here are 12 signs that you’ve had a bad job interview.
1. You did not dress correctly. Don’t panic and run away. There’s nothing you can do at this point. If you’re overdressed, that’s O.K. If you’re under-dressed, just act as professional as you can. By the way, never wear jeans to an interview.
2. The interviewer gives you an intense “once over” and looks disapproving. This might happen if you are heavily tattooed or pierced, have a non-business like haircut, are dressed too provocatively, or are wearing too much makeup or jewelry. Always dress professionally for an interview. Never dress “sexy” or wear a lot of jewelry or makeup. If you are pierced, don’t wear the jewelry. If you are tattooed, cover them. Ignore any stares of the interviewer; just smile and act very professional.
3. You panic on the first question. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Nervousness is common and will get better as you do more interviews. Smile. Say, “I am so nervous!” Ask the interviewer to repeat the question. Start your answer with a general statement and try to think of experiences you’ve had that will illustrate what you just said.
4. The interviewer is distracted by his cell phone or keeps staring at his/her watch. There’s not much you can do about this. Smile and try to catch his/her eye; call him or her by name when you answer a question. Don’t ramble when answering questions. Be thorough, but brief. Answer each question in about two minutes. The interviewer may be running late.
5. An interviewer asks you the same question more than once. This means he/she isn’t paying attention or you didn’t answer the question adequately the first time. Don’t take it personally. Try to answer the question more fully the second time.
6. You get confused about the company’s name when you answer a question. If you make this mistake, apologize briefly. Don’t get flustered. Don’t make excuses; just say, “I’m sorry. I meant to say __(name of company you are interviewing with)____ .”
7. The interviewer looks bored. Without being too “over the top,” try a small joke or express great enthusiasm about the job or the company. His/her boredom probably has nothing to do with you. But, don’t ramble or repeat yourself.
8. The interviewer asks difficult questions and seems to “put you on the spot.” This might be a “stress” interview. That is an interview calculated to determine how you perform under stress. Stay calm; answer every question to the best of your ability. Remain friendly and professional.
9. The interviewer glances at your resume and mentions several ways in which you are not qualified for the job. All you can do is say, “I’d like to address the issues you just brought up.” And then, do it! Address those issues! Sell yourself! Even if he/she has already made up his/her mind, take a shot!
10. The interviewer doesn’t smile and barely looks at you. It’s possible he/she has already decided not to hire you. But, it is also possible that he/she is not very friendly, which is surprisingly common with interviewers. Do your best; don’t take it personally. When you leave, walk over, shake hands, and say, “I want to thank you for your time today. I really appreciate it.” Just because he/she has poor people skills doesn’t mean you do! If he/she will be your supervisor, be very careful about accepting a job. He/she might be difficult to work for.
11. You do something really bad during the interview. Perhaps you use the “f” word or spill coffee all over yourself, if so, stay calm! If bad language was the mistake you made, apologize briefly. If you spilled coffee or made another not-too-serious mistake, just say, “Oh, please excuse me! I’m a little nervous.”
12. The interviewer asks if you know of anyone else who might be interested in the job. Yikes! At that point, I’d probably laugh and say, “No, none that are as qualified and eager as I am!”