28 März 2024

Five myths about the job interview

Posted in Coaching


Five myths about the job interview

It's perfectly natural to feel a mix of fear and excitement when you're about to have a job interview. After all, it's about the chance to move from a job you might not like or that has become overwhelming to a new opportunity.

However, if preparation is done correctly, it can give you a significant advantage in your job search. But beware of these five myths about job interviews, as they can lead you to counterproductive behavior and increase the likelihood of ending up accepting the wrong job.

1. Researching the company is the most important thing

Search online for guides on preparing for a job interview, and you'll probably find the tip to learn about the company in advance, which you indeed should do. However, this should not be the most important part of your preparation, and many job seekers invest too much time in this task.

Far more important is being able to fluently tell your career story. If you know many facts about the company's business results and history but can't fully recall your own achievements, you're not well-prepared. Use most of your preparation time to highlight your accomplishments. If you've had a long career, this means refreshing your memory of parts of your life you haven't thought about in years.

2. The interviewers want to throw you off

The worst fear of interviewees is being made to feel not smart enough or not quick-witted enough to get the job. Understandably, no one wants to be put in such a situation. However, this fear is often exaggerated. Few interviewers want to ambush you, and if they do, it's a good indication of their competitive and likely exhausting company culture.

Instead of preparing for your job interview as if you were in the hot seat, assume that the interviewer really wants to get to know you. In fact, most are unconsciously biased towards judging whether they'd like to work with you, rather than whether you're qualified.

Viewing your job interview as a rigorous test of your intellect will backfire. You'll be technically prepared to answer tougher questions, but you might come across as less likable. Do yourself a favor and assume the best intentions. This will help reduce your nervousness during the interview and enable you to make a stronger connection with your potential employer.

3. You must be able to do everything on your first day

Yes, you need to be perceived as qualified to get a job. But you don't have to tick every single box to convince the employer of your competence. Often, you'll notice a discrepancy between what's in the job description and the true "must-haves" for the position.

Revealing areas where you might need a little time to get up to speed shows that you're honest and committed. It also gives you an important opportunity to address any gaps before a final decision is made.

"Confidently showcase what you bring to the table, but don't exaggerate your abilities. Every job has a learning curve."

4. Eccentrics are at a disadvantage

Unless you're in the creative industry, the job is rarely the right place to wear an eccentric outfit or reveal your quirkiest interests. However, you should work on showing your authentic self as a person. People sense a genuine connection. Even if you prepare all the right answers, the interaction will likely feel artificial if you hide a significant part of your true personality.

Instead, refine the best representation of your traits: If you're quieter than others, lean towards a methodical approach, or are perhaps a bit impetuous, bring that up. Share stories about how you've used this part of your personality to strengthen teams or meet customers' needs in a unique way.

In today's economy, any company looking for a homogeneous team and wanting to tackle problems in exactly the same way every time is doomed to fail. So, don't hesitate to showcase your unique talents and style. In the long run, this will help you find the best position for yourself.

5. There's no such thing as too much preparation

"Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail."

This saying can be comforting because it implies that you can avoid failure with sufficient preparation. But that's simply not true. There are so many random and inevitable reasons why you might not get this job, no matter how well you prepare. In your desire to perfect and rehearse every question you think might come your way, there's also a danger: Those who over-prepare are likely to come across as rigid, which rarely resonates. After all, you're not supposed to give a lecture like in school.

If done right, the interviewer should do most (if not the majority) of the talking during the interview. You want the employer to share your view on what it takes to be successful in the job so you can tailor your answers accordingly. If you over-prepare, you'll be stuck in your pre-made responses and won't adapt to the tone of the interview. Remember, preparation is only effective if it makes you feel more relaxed and ready to engage in an informative yet

Source: unternehmer.de

Note: The article was automatically translated using ChatGPT-4 by OpenAI

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