So, you’ve filled out the application, passed the phone interview, and just completed the in-person interview. After waiting around for a few days, you get the phone call or email everyone dreads. “We regret to inform you that….”
While this truly sucks, everything will be OK. This was simply not a good fit and something else will work out. On the other hand, certain behaviors might be knocking you out of the race before the interview has ended. I’ve been on both sides of this situation.
Let’s talk about five reasons you failed the job interview and how to fix them.
Reason 1: You Showed Up Late
Throughout life, things happen that you can’t plan for. However, you need to do everything possible to make these things don’t interfere with your job interview. It’s always recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to every job interview, no exceptions.
Why arrive 15 minutes early? Why not five minutes?
Many people think that this 15-minute window is beneficial to employers, which is true. Arriving early ensures you’re ready for any surprise paperwork you might need to fill out.
It also helps employees in charge of scheduling and interviewing. Showing up on time shows that they’re off to a good start by choosing you.
Also, showing up to a job interview slightly early shows that you’re punctual, prepared and likely excited about this interview (whether or not you feel puking into the nearest trashcan is irrelevant)
Let’s talk about why this 15-minute rule is beneficial for you.
Planning to arrive 15 minutes early also gives you more time to get to the interview. You’ll never know when traffic will slow you down or road construction is taking place.
We usually don’t time out how long it’s going to take to get fast food or go to the grocery store. Considering that, we probably end up arriving at places later than we planned all the time.
Needless to say, many outside factors can make you late for an interview. Leaving your house with time to spare ensures these hurdles won’t make you late.
To put it simply, arriving late gives the impression you don’t value this company or the time of its employees.
Remember, a company sets aside time for this interview to learn about you. In turn, this could lead to a job offer. Why ruin such an important possibility by being late?
I wanted to add a special updated note, considering the situation throughout the world, about remote job interviews. Even if you’re interviewing remotely, say for freelance writing jobs, it’s still a good idea to have everything (headphones, video conferencing software) all ready to go.
Quick Bonus Tip
If you arrive at a job interview early, take 1-2 minutes and look over your resume and prepared questions (more on the second part later).
Reading or skimming this information refocuses your brain on interview talking points and it only takes a minute.
Leave 15 minutes early, it gives you time to prepare for the drive ahead and it makes a great first impression.
Reason 2: You Didn’t Look at Their Foreheads
This tip might have you about to click the exit button in your browser, but wait! Hear me out.
What’s more uncomfortable than a job interview? Long periods of eye-contact.
I don’t know about you all but this used to be the hardest part of an interview. Granted, I’ve gotten better with practice. However, maintaining eye contact while sitting in the interviewee’s seat can feel nearly impossible.
I learned this trick in high school from someone who spoke regularly and had terrible performance anxiety.
She told me that when she was talking to someone or a group of people, she would look just above their eye line and at their foreheads. Ever since learning this tip, it has always worked like a charm.
Don’t worry that this looks obvious, it’s impossible for another person to tell from across an interview table.
Reason 3: You Didn’t Learn About the Company
Let’s say that you did have questions prepared. This shows you learned about the company, right? Not exactly. While asking questions does show your interest in the company, set yourself ahead of the pack by doing a bit more research.
This doesn’t mean spending hours memorizing everything or this company’s website. Instead, write down a few important facts and memorize them, that’s it.
Imagine that you have two dates scheduled.
If your first date spends the whole time talking about themselves, it’s boring and likely makes you think they aren’t interested in you.
On the other hand, if your second date asks you about things you like and can speak about them, it’s going to make much more of an impact.
Be that second date.
Bonus points if you’re able to ask relevant questions that allow you interviewer to speak about his or her strengths.
Most people love talking about themselves, it’s human nature.
Reason 4: You Didn’t Ask Any Questions
We’ve all made the mistake, an interviewer asks if you have any questions and you say “nope!”
I had to learn this lesson the hard way after not receiving a second call from several companies.
Chances are, you’re not going to hear anything back if you don’t have questions prepared.
Certain people think these questions are important to ask during an interview.
- How Much Am I Getting Paid?
- What’s the Time Off Policy Here?
- When Do I Start Getting Vacation Time?
People asking these questions rarely get the job.
These questions (while honest and important) make you seem like an employee who is only in it for the money and vacation time. Whether or not this is true, don’t let the interviewer know it.
Instead, your questions need to meet a few criteria.
Your interview questions must show that you’re interested and excited about working for this company. Here are a few questions that I would include after a typical interview.
What’s Your Favorite Part About Working for (Insert Company Name Here)?
This question is somewhat of a softball but it allows employees to speak about themselves.
It takes the focus off of you while showing your interest in this company.
Also, their answers are crucial to understanding the best part of coming to work for this company.
What are 3 Traits You Look for in a Great (Insert Position Name Here)?
Simply fill in the blank to include the position you’re interviewing for.
This question shows that you want to succeed in this role.
Asking this question also helps you to know which ones managers continuously look for if you get the job.
What are the Next Steps in the Hiring Process?
There’s almost nothing that interviewers prefer more than this question.
It shows that you have drive and are ready to begin working for the company as soon as possible.
Best of all, it’s insanely easy to remember and never needs to be altered while interviewing for different companies. This is of the best tips I can tell you to help you get a job fast.
Reason 5: You Didn’t Follow Through
Whether you’re trying to make money from home or out in the world, it’s always wise to follow through. If sending a quick thank you email that takes 30 seconds to put together places you ahead of the pack, why not do it?
Here’s something relatively easy you can use as an example:
Dear (Name of Person/People You Spoke With) or ((Name of Company’s) Hiring Team),
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. I enjoyed learning more about this amazing company from ______ and/or ______.
While I hate hearing that you didn’t get the job, I hope that these tips will help you out. Throughout my years, I’ve had plenty of rejections. As bad as it feels, it’s all part of the process. Remember, don’t take anything personal, companies rarely know that much about candidates by this point. I’ve also got lots of great tips to help you make money writing online, make sure to check them out.