There’s nothing quite as frustrating as being stuck in a rut. And when that rut happens to be not making it past the first stage in a job interview process, it can be stressful too. If you already chose a hostel near Infosys, Gachibowli, but you’re struggling to get a call back for a second interview from any of your top choice firms, it’s possible that there’s something going wrong. But since you’re not blowing your first interview outright, it’s difficult to pinpoint what’s stopping you from getting a callback. Maybe it’s closing the deal that’s difficult or perhaps the story you’re giving your interviewers isn’t working in your favour. Whatever the case may be, you want to stop derailing your success, and soon. Luckily, a few rejections won’t be the end of the world. And with a little introspection, you can even figure out how to modify your approach to get that second interview. That’s why we’re here to help. Here are the top five mistakes you might be making during your job interviews, and how to fix them.
You didn’t stick to the process
All companies have their own rules and regulations to be followed during their interview process. And even if you’re very convincing during the interview, missing out on some crucial steps of the actual process could be working against you. Missing a deadline, or not submitting the required paperwork would definitely be errors you can’t afford to repeat, but smaller mistakes like not adhering to specific file types or formats for your submissions could also be an issue. It’s best to stick to the process that has been specified by the company and follow directions on time. This applies when you’re following up after the interview as well. If you know the process is likely to take two weeks, wait to send follow up emails until that time period is over.
You didn’t get the pitch right
Remember that a job interview is just like a sales pitch. Only the product that you’re selling is yourself and your skills. So, if you don’t modify your story to suit the needs of the company and match the job description, you’ve dropped the ball. Make sure you’re prepared with a few anecdotes that highlight your relevant experience and skills, but don’t let the interview become a monologue either. You have to ensure you’re telling a story that will engage your interviewer and convince them to hire you. So, make sure your pitch is centred around the skills and qualities they’re looking for and not just everything you’ve ever accomplished.
Your follow up was too little or too much
Everyone knows that sending a thank you note can really help you cinch that second interview, but timing the follow up correctly is also really important. You need to send your email within twenty four hours of your first interview to really connect with your recruiter. And don’t just make it a generic note either, re-emphasise the value you would add to the job along with your gratitude. Don’t forget to proofread before you hit send. And while not doing enough follow up can be a negative, doing too much isn’t good either. You don’t want your interviewer to feel like they’re being hounded. Limit yourself to one follow up email after you’ve sent a thank you note, even if you don’t get a response. It’s best to let things go as you don’t want to run the risk of offending someone or having yourself blacklisted from the company.
Your references aren’t favourable
The application process of most job interviews will require you to give references of people who have worked with you in the past. But if those references don’t show you in a good light, they could be hampering your chances of getting a second interview. That’s why it’s important to talk to any potential reference candidates before you forward their contact details to an employer. Are they going to attest to your good qualities? Do they have a clear idea of the work you’ve been doing? Do they know what role you’re interviewing for so that they can give relevant answers? Make sure you know what your references are likely to say about you before they talk to your interviewers.
You didn’t clear your social media accounts
These days, it’s not just who you are during your interview that counts. Most interviewers are likely to run a background check on their candidates before they decide to hand out callbacks or job offers. And if your social media has any content that might be objectionable to the company, you’re probably not going to be on that list. So it’s best to delete those pictures of you during college parties, on holiday in Goa, or in your pyjamas in your hostel in Miyapur. And it’s not just inappropriate material that your social media should be clear of, if you’ve ever posted anything controversial or with strong religious or political ties, your employer may decide to pass on your profile. So, make sure everything on your social media is safe for work.
These factors are all within your control, and a little effort and self-reflection can help you steer clear of them in the future. But remember there are other factors as well. Perhaps the company’s needs have changed or they already had a candidate in mind for the role. So, you don’t always have to assume that you are the problem. In general, stay positive, keep these tips in mind and keep trying your best. You’ll definitely be able to land that second interview and the job of your dreams.