And it happens all the time
It’s too late for you if you pull this ill-advised move.
93% of hiring managers say that arriving late to an interview negatively affects the likelihood that they will hire you, according to a recent survey of 850 hiring managers by SimplyHired.com. That’s followed closely by whining (92% say its a turn off that could keep you from getting hired) and a lack of preparation (89%) as the 10 worst interview and application mistakes job applicants make.
10 worst job interview and application mistakes
|Percentage of hiring managers who say it has a negative effect on whether they will hire you|
|Arriving late to an interview||93%|
|Showing lack of preparation||89%|
|Bad-mouthing a former boss||88%|
|Bad-mouthing a former company||87%|
|Making grammar or spelling mistakes on a cover letter||86%|
|Using poor grammar in an interview||84%|
|Having unrealistic compensation requirements||84%|
|Answering questions incorrectly||77%|
William Vanderbloemen, the CEO and founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group who has interviewed thousands of candidates over the past decade, says that he’s seen lateness cost plenty of candidates the job. “At its root, an [interview] appointment is a contract between you and me. And if you cannot keep this very first contract we have, especially when you’re trying to impress me, tells me that you’ll likely not be able to deliver on any other contract I entrust you with if you were on my team,” he explains.
Of course, lateness happens sometimes — as does finding yourself whining and being wholly unprepared for a question an interviewer asks of you. So Moneyish asked career experts what to do when you find yourself in one of these three majorly compromising positions.
You’re running late. “If you find that you are going to be late to your interview, call in as soon as possible to let your interviewer know and explain your situation,” says Ann Vu Ngo, a career coach at Ama La Vida Coaching. What’s more, “you need a good excuse, such as traffic was much heavier than expected because of a major accident on the road,” says Call to Career founder Cheryl Palmer. “It’s best to take the phone number of the organization with you so that you will have the number to call in case of an emergency. Once you get to the interview, you will need to apologize for running late and give a brief explanation.”
You start whining. “People don’t own their mistakes (like being late), and often end up whining about what has happened to them,” says Vanderbloemen — which he adds is a big mistake as people should own up to errors and “talk about what they have learned from their mistakes.” Palmer says that to avoid whining, “you should practice you should practice the answers to standard interview questions ahead of time.” And practice pivoting if do find yourself whining, she adds: “You might be whining because you were treated unfairly on the job. Do a quick pivot and talk about how you were able to overcome obstacles at work. Talk about some of the accomplishments that you have. That way you can end on a positive note.”
You’re unprepared for a question they ask you. “Don’t panic. And don’t lie,” says NYC-based career strategist Carolta Zimmerman. ”Smile and say something such as, ‘Wow, that’s a really unique question, I don’t believe I’ve ever been asked anything like that before’.” Or, advises Palmer, “buy yourself a few seconds by repeating the question. You can also say, ‘Let me see,’ or ‘That’s an interesting question.’ And, adds, Ngo, you can ask for a minute to think about your answer.
“Then, answer what you can. Part of what you’re being tested on, is how you respond to challenges. So your answer could be, ‘Well, I’ve never had to consider that, but I guess I’d…’ and here you can lay out your plan of research and/or attack. A good manager isn’t interested in perfection—which is a fantasy—but reasonable, intellectually curious adults who can rise to a challenge, and meet it,” concludes Zimmerman.
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