8 Common Job Search Mistakes

posted by Brian Krueger under job search #mistakes #phone #employers #interview

Candidate embarrassed after giving a bad interview answer

Many job seekers repeat the same common mistakes, often not even realizing that they are making a mistake. I've seen a lot of mistakes, but these eight are the most common:

1. Post and pray.

This is a term we use on the employer side as well, referring to posting a job and praying for candidates. Yet the same thing can happen when a candidate posts a resume to one (or more) job site, then sits back waiting for the phone to ring. There is nothing wrong with posting your resume, just don't let it be your primary (or only) method for finding a job.

2. Not being ready for the call.

If your phone number is on your resume, you need to be ready for a call from an employer at any time. If a call comes in on your mobile that you don't recognize, it could be a potential employer. So make sure you are in a position to answer and respond professionally before you answer. Otherwise, let it go to voicemail. Yes, I will leave a voicemail. Don't answer in a bar or a crowded, noisy situation. Choose your setting. It's an interview, treat it as such.

3. Not checking voicemail.

Did I mention that I will leave a voicemail?

4. E-mail miss.

Either you're not checking your e-mail regularly (you need to check at least once a day) or you have set up an e-mail account specific to your job search which you don't check regularly. Or you have your spam filter set to kill all but your contact list and my e-mail to you ends up in your spam folder. Check your spam folder regularly while you are job searching.

5. Research fail.

You need to know the basics of my company and be ready on the introductory call, then fully ready for the in person interview. If you are going to take time to apply, take time first to know minimally who we are and what we do. If you are invited in for an interview, spend at least an hour researching my company to better understand why we may be a potential fit as an employer. And why you would be a potential fit as a candidate.

6. Not knowing you.

It always amazes me when candidates are unable to answer basic questions about themselves. Sometimes it is due to lack of practice. Other times it is interview jitters. I've even had a candidate claim a "senior moment" in the interview. You should know you better than anyone else in the world. I shouldn't have to prompt you to sell you.

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7. Not answering behaviorally.

It doesn't matter if you've been asked a behavioral question or not (which usually sounds something like "Can you give me an example of that?"). You still need to answer behaviorally. Give a S-T-A-R response—give the situation or task, the action you took and the results achieved. By using the S-T-A-R formula for your answers, you will stand out from the competition.

8. Failure to sell.

You tell me about features, I want to know about benefits. How can you benefit me, my team, my company? What are the results you have delivered? Don't expect to be ready to offer you the job unless and until you have effectively sold yourself as the best candidate for the job. If you are the best candidate for the job, say so. And when you are finished selling, ask for the job.

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