You worked hard to land your job interviews, and the last thing you want to do is say or do something that compromises your candidacy. Here are three big interview mistakes and three tips on what to do instead:
Blunder #1 Turn down the interview in the first place
Once an executive told me he was approached by the president of a media company at a trade show who wished to interview him. This executive client told me he was going to call up the president and tell him he really didn’t think he should interview because he believed the position would not pay enough and was on too small of a scale to be interesting to him.
I really encouraged this executive client to change his mind and take the opportunity to interview and simply concentrate on what the president’s corporate challenges were and then put together a short proposal outlining how he could help him. With some reservation, my executive client agreed, took the interview and created a short compelling proposal which outlined multiple ways he could help this media company.
Shortly thereafter my executive client learned that the media company president had just sold to one of the largest media corporations worldwide. My client was subsequently made an offer which included both a frothy title and a $100k increase in salary over his previous position.
Keep an open mind with each and every one of your networking contacts and interviewing opportunities to maximize the abundance of possibilities that made manifest for you!
Blunder #2 Show no enthusiasm
I had a client once who I was coaching on interviewing skills. When I shared with her to say in her upcoming interview that she was “excited about the position” she laughed out loud, stating that there was “no way she was saying that” because it wasn’t her style.
After more discussion and a promise from her to try it, she ended up landing that position. Her new boss told her on her first day of employment that the reason she was chosen out of 4 (more qualified) candidates is because she was the only one that actually said she wanted the job. People want to hire people that want to work with them and are excited about the job!
Blunder#3 Ask about the salary
This is an obvious one right? Well, on many occasions I have had intelligent career searchers share with me that during their first or second interview they “blurted out” what they made or what they were looking for, either without prompting or after being asked to provide the information.
This brings me to the following point: it’s easy to say that you won’t bring up money before the interview…but in the heat of the moment it’s also easy to change your mind.
Why don’t you want to bring up money? Because you need to be focused on communicating the value you will bring to the company you are interviewing with. If they understand and buy into your shared value – the money has an excellent chance of working itself out! If they don’t see the value…well then your potential employer will look elsewhere.
You can avoid this blunder by doing three things: first, of course don’t bring up money! Second you can graciously sidestep initial questions from your interviewer about money by stating that you would be happy to discuss that with them, but you were hoping that a little more time might be invested first in finding out about each other. Third, make certain you understand and embrace fully WHY bringing up money compromises your position.