Don't assume the interview is just a formality. In fact, it's the
beginning of the selling process. Your resume has gotten you an
interview - now you have a chance to actually make them want you for a
Here are some of the most common flaws I see:
A. LACK OF ENTHUSIASM
You don't have to be a Zig Ziglar or a David Letterman, but you must
express enthusiasm for a job if you don't want to be weeded out
immediately. Enthusiasm, boldness, and confidence will often do more
for you in an interview than another college degree.
B. WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME
We know you want to know about benefits, vacations, etc. but don't
lead with these questions. First, the employer will want to know what
you can do for them. You can't negotiate for more vacation time
before you have been offered a job. Convince the employer that you
are the right person for the job, be sure that you want to work there,
then you can discuss pay and benefits.
C. UNCLEAR JOB GOALS
Don't be a generalist. Be clear about the job you are seeking. If
the interviewer gets the impression that you are just looking for a
job rather than a specific opportunity to use your skills, you will
sabotage your chances. You should be able to state without
hesitation, three characteristics that would make you a great
candidate for any given job you are applying for.
D. POOR PERSONAL APPEARANCE
The key here is to fit in with the organization you are contacting.
I will defend your right to wear cutoffs and a baseball cap, but if
you really want a job, you must dress appropriately. Many times I
hear people who are irritated about not being given a job when they
have a nose ring, bad breath, and unshined shoes. Keep in mind that
organizations hire people, not credentials and experience. If they
don't like you, it doesn't matter how great your experience is, you
won't get the job.
E. NOT SELLING YOURSELF
Even if you would not enjoy selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door,
you have to realize that in the interview process, you are selling
yourself. Especially in today's market, you have to promote yourself.
Follow-up immediately with a thank you note and a telephone call
three or four days later. It's a good way to reinforce your interest
in the job as well as ask a question or two you may have forgotten in
Source: "48 Days To The Work You Love" pg. 90