I Thought I Nailed It!!?? – 6 Key Mistakes When Job Hunting

Robert Sheffield
December 16, 20193 mins read

We all know the basic do’s and don’ts of an interview right? Firm hand shake, beaming smile and a smart interview outfit. Why wouldn’t they hire me?

So what went wrong? 

Every job application and hiring process is unique and it can be impossible to guess the outcome. There are plenty of factors at play and any one them could be the difference between celebratory drinks and drowning our sorrows.

Sometimes it can be hard to learn from our mistakes if we haven’t had feedback from an interview or application so how can we understand and grow from our mistakes?

6 reasons you may not have received a call back:

“So why is this person different?”
What makes you stand out?  Even before you interview remember, an employer will be going through a pile of CVs for the role and will be actively looking for a reason to eliminate candidates. A strong cover letter and a good relationship with your recruiter will make you stand out from the other one hundred applicants and guarantee your foot is firmly through the door.

“Why didn’t they want to see me?”
The simple answer is your CV. This is your strongest tool to sell yourself to a business. Who is going to read a nineteen page essay detailing back to your first paper round? In a competitive market your CV needs to stand out. A good CV is a strong combination of relevant skills and experience with clear, concise presentation. 

Waffle
Waffles are great, everyone loves them right? Not interviewers. There is always the urge to impress however be conscious not to 'over-answer' questions. Always try to be clear, concise and accurate. Save the waffles for the celebratory breakfast.

You didn’t demonstrate your knowledge
This may be down to nerves or could be lack of preparation but always make sure you clearly demonstrate you know exactly what you are talking about. Make sure you have fully researched the business and can show how your skills are a good fit for the business. Sounds like a no brainer but you would be surprised by how simple lack of prep can trip up the best of us.

“Did they actually want the job?”
If you really want the role, show it! It is important to show some genuine excitement about a position. If you are not excited about a role why would an employer be excited about you?

“Well, I asked what the next steps are. I definitely closed them right?”
Did you close the interviewer? This not only shows assertiveness and desire for the role, it also gives you another bite at the cherry. 

So try getting into the habit of asking: “Do you have any hesitations with me as a candidate for this position?” If they do, brilliant! We can now crush any hesitations they may have and reassure the interviewer you are the best person for the role. This ideally will also give you feedback on how you interview. If they don’t have any hesitations then great you have avoided all of the above and have done a great job!

So the next time you embark on the adventure of looking for a new role, think about the above and make sure you DO nail it. 

Happy hunting!

Robert Sheffield's picture
Managing Director - Greater China
rsheffield@morganmckinley.com

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