5 Costly Interview Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making

By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®

The interview stage of the hiring process can be tricky, to say the least. You’re trying to make a good impression and brand yourself in the best way possible, but things don’t always go as you’ve planned them.

In fact, even if you’re well prepared and you have the best of intentions, the wrong things can happen. And sometimes, you’re not even aware that those things are happening. After more than twenty years working in the employment marketplace as a professional search consultant, I’ve seen just about everything, and that includes the interview mistakes that job candidates make.

Eliminate interview mistakes before the interview starts

Even if the employer decides to not make an offer of employment to you and even if you decide that the job is not the right position for you, it’s still important to brand yourself the right way. You never know what the future holds, and your performance during the interview could be the key to discovering a great new opportunity down the road. So, it’s critical to be cognizant of interview mistakes you could make and eliminate them before the interview begins.

Below are five costly interview mistakes you might not realize you’re making:

#1—Talking too much

Yes, you are nervous, and you might be one of those people who talk too much when they’re nervous. When you do that, though, you run the risk of rambling, which is a not a good look for a job interview. You might also “talk over” someone or interrupt them in your eagerness to share a thought or a past experience.

Instead, practice answering common interview questions beforehand and work to stay laser-focused during the interview. Remember, a successful interview is not about quantity, as in how many words you speak. It’s about the quality of those words and the impact that they have.

#2—Saying “always” and “never”

These are examples of absolutes, which are indicative of an “all or nothing” pattern of thinking. Organizations are typically not in the habit of hiring candidates who employ this type of thinking. That’s because the world is full of problems and solutions that can not be addressed with absolutes. Employers want to hire people who are aware of this and don’t give into the temptation to blindly categorize people and situations because it’s easier or in an attempt to portray themselves in a more positive light.

#3—“Over selling” yourself

You know that you have to “sell” yourself during the interview. That’s basically what an interview is all about. But can you go too far? Yes, you can absolutely go too far, and when you do, the people interviewing you are going to notice.

Keep in mind that while you must “sell” yourself, you are NOT the focus of the interview. The focus of the interview is the problem that the employer has and that it is attempting to solve through the hiring of a candidate. So what you’re really “selling” is how you are going to solve the employer’s problem if they were to hire you.

#4—Getting too personal

You might have heard before that it’s a good idea to try to make a personal connection with the person or people who are interviewing you. And it is a good idea. It can help to “break the ice” and lead to a more relaxed and more effective interview. Talking about a shared interest or current events in the world is a way in which to do this. (But keep politics out of it!)

However, you want to make sure that you don’t “cross the line.” This can mean any number of things, including mentioning the fact that you were checking the person out on social media or making a comment about the photo of their family that’s next to them. Making a personal connection is good, but doing so while keeping proper boundaries is even better.

#5—Feeling too relaxed

It’s crucial to finish strong during your interview. Unfortunately, some people tend to relax toward the end of their interview, especially if they believe it has gone well and that they’ve made the proper personal connection with the other people involved.

This is when things can go wrong. Specifically, you might say the wrong thing at the wrong time, making an inappropriate remark that can mar an otherwise solid interview. Being uptight during an interview is not good, but neither is being too relaxed. You want to strive to be somewhere in between, and remember that the only time that you can truly relax is when the interview is completely over.

(And if you’re participating in a virtual interview, it’s only completely over when you know for sure that you’ve closed out of the software and no one can see and/or hear you anymore.)

Avoid interview mistakes with the help of a recruiter

The interviewing stage of the hiring process is just one the areas in which an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter can help you if you have the opportunity to work with one as part of one of their client’s interview processes. Not only do they know about the interview, but they also know a lot about the employer that is conducting it. After all, they work for the employer to help fill its important job openings.

When you work with a professional recruiter or search consultant, you can benefit from their experience and expertise. That’s because they will be willing to share that expertise with you, as well as other information that can help you become more successful in your Animal Health or Veterinary career. And that’s the bottom line when it comes to working with a recruiter—maximizing your professional potential and enjoying more career success! If you are working with a search consultant asks them how to maximize your potential during the interview process.

If you’re looking to make a change or explore your employment options, then we want to talk with you. I encourage you to contact us or you can also create a profile and/or submit your resume for consideration.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.