Seven Deadly Interview Flubs
10.06.05, 6:00 AM ET
Your achievements and educational background set you apart from the pack. You've reworked
your cover letter and resume until both are as smooth as polished oak.
Your diligence soon pays off: You land an interview for what could be
Congratulations, but remember: Your resume got you in the door. Your interview skills will land
the job offer. (See: "
Writing A Killer Resume
"An interview is all about your answers to the company's questions," says Brenda Greene, author
You've Got The Interview: Now What?
, scheduled to be published in November. "You got the
interview because the company believes you have the necessary skills to handle the job. The
interviewers are looking for 'fit.' Before making a job offer, they need to know that you mesh with
the corporate culture."
Click Here To Avoid Seven Deadly Interviewing Flubs.
Interviewers want to gain insight into how you think and react to unexpected and perhaps
uncomfortable situations. A good job interviewer will deliberately try to break your stride by
tossing out an odd question to see how you handle the unexpected. You're judged on both words
You're being prodded, tested and evaluated by everyone you speak to in a series of corporate
interviews. Never let your guard down because everything you say and do counts.
Greene says stock questions such as "Describe your strengths and weaknesses" have been
replaced with tougher questions intended to reveal more about your character and how you think.
Prepare for questions such as "Describe your most challenging work environment and how you
dealt with it," or "Describe a project that failed" or "What's your biggest regret?"
The questions may seem irrelevant to your job skills, but hiring a new employee is expensive and
time consuming. The cost of employee turnover has been estimated at $2,300 to $13,000 per
worker, depending on the company and position. Major companies take one to three months to fill
important slots. Still, about 22% of American workers voluntarily leave their jobs in less than a
Turnover quickly becomes expensive for a company with thousands of workers--and an
immediate punch in the pocketbook for small enterprises. This focuses the attention of employers
and demands great attention to small details when hiring. The result is the marathon hiring
process now familiar to job hunters everywhere.
"Employers feel they can teach you needed skills quickly," Greene says. "They want integrity
because after the latest corporate scandals, companies have a vested interest in the company
Greene says employers value expertise, but place a premium on job candidates who are
energetic, ambitious, hard-working, respectful, positive, efficient and trustworthy. In short,
competence in your field isn't enough to get the job.
Do your homework. Read as much as you can about the company before the interview. Start with