Tag Archives: 5 Job Interview Myths That Can Throw You for a Loop

Are You Sabotaging Your Own Job Search?


What might seem like a great job search strategy at the time can prove to be less than productive down the road. In fact, what seems like a smart approach might actually be doing you more harm than good.

That’s a tough thing for jobseekers to hear. Searching for employment is, after all, a rather daunting and even discouraging thing, and it can be hard to figure out what’s right and what’s not amidst the sea of job search advice.

Nevertheless, it’s important to ensure that what you’re doing is as smart and as pragmatic as you think it is—and to remove from your job search arsenal any tactics that are counterproductive.

Casting a Wide Net

A great example of this is the practice of sending out as many resumes as you possibly can—applying for any job opening you come across that fits in with your particular skill set, even tangentially.

This sounds good in theory. Positioning yourself as a multi-capable professional, generally skilled and up for any challenge, sure sounds like something employers would like. Only, it isn’t. Employers tend to be searching for a very precise set of skills and personality traits—and “general” isn’t one of them.

Taking the shotgun approach to job hunting isn’t really effective, then, because you’re essentially using all your time applying for jobs you’re highly unlikely to get, or even to interview for. A more honed, focused approach is preferable.

Being Perfectly Agreeable

It might also seem like a good idea to come across as perfectly positive and good-natured in job interviews—and certainly, you want to be even-tempered, friendly, and personable. Remember that interviewers aren’t just looking for skills, but also for cultural fit.

However, you don’t want to be even-tempered to the point of being unengaged. When you’re given an opportunity to ask some questions about the company, make sure that you do so. Show that you care, that you’re engaged in the process, and that you’re not simply desperate to take any job that’s available to you.

Playing it Too Cool

An opposite approach is to play it so cool in a job interview that you don’t even let on that you want the job. Here’s where some balancing will be necessary. You don’t want to come across as desperate, it’s true—but neither do you want to come across as disinterested.

This is especially so when you’re interviewing at a small business or a startup. Remember that this is the business owner’s baby that you’re talking about. The person you’re interviewing with likely wants to see some real enthusiasm—not mere detachment.

Getting Too Creative with Your Resume

Finally, remember that the best way to stand out is to be outstanding—not to be weird, different, or “creative.” This is especially true when it comes to resumes. Many jobseekers believe that the best way to draw attention is to do something out of the ordinary with their resumes—but recruiters and hiring managers want the ordinary format, to some extent, and don’t have much patience for outside-the-box styles or templates.

If you need help constructing an attention-grabbing—but not off-putting—resume, our team is standing by. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444!

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5 Job Interview Myths That Can Throw You for a Loop


Ideal scenario: You arrive at a job interview feeling totally confident. You’re prepared for every question you’re asked, and can provide excellent, thoughtful answers. The interviewer seems excited and impressed. You believe that you and the interviewer have a good, warm rapport. You leave the interview feeling pretty great: You stand a fine chance of getting the job, and if you don’t, well, at least you gave it your all.

Less than ideal scenario: You arrive at a job interview feeling pretty good about yourself, but are caught off guard by the strange, unexpected, or open-ended questions. The interviewer doesn’t seem engaged in your conversation. You quickly lose your confidence, stumble through your answers, and leave feeling defeated and depressed.

What’s the factor that decides which of these two scenarios you end up with? To a large extent, it all comes down to expectations. If you arrive expecting all the wrong things, and aren’t prepared for other contingencies, then you can be thrown off your rhythm and off your A-game.

If, however, you arrive expecting the right things—or better still, you arrive with no particular expectations whatsoever—then you’ll stand a better chance of approaching the situation calmly, coolly, and confidently.

Sadly, many jobseekers show up for an interview and have all the wrong expectations. They’ve believed some of the common job search myths that are out there—and when those myths are revealed to be just that, these jobseekers are left feeling unprepared and panicky.

A good way to prepare for your next job interview, then, is to go over some common interview myths—and to remind yourself that they are, well, exactly that.

Myth #1: You’ll have a good, well-prepared interviewer.

Maybe you will, but then again, maybe you won’t. Your interviewer is surely a busy person, and you can’t rule out the fact that he or she will arrive for the interview harried and unprepared, having not even had time to look over your resume very closely. Be prepared to refresh him or her on key points, and to roll with the interviewer’s potential lack of preparedness.

Also note that not all interviewers ask particularly good questions; you might get something like “so tell me about yourself,” and it’s imperative that you have a good narrative ready.

Myth #2: There’s always a right answer.

Sometimes an interviewer will be more interested in how you handle a high-pressure question than in what your answer is; don’t allow your desperate search for the “right” response to break your composure or to send you into a tailspin of “ums.”

Myth #3: Your answers always need to be short.

The more valuable information you can give the interviewer, the better. If you provide one-sentence answers to everything, it will leave the interviewer to think up still more questions—and they don’t necessarily want to do that.

Myth #4: Your qualifications are what ultimately matter.

Think the most qualified applicant always gets the job? Think again. What interviewers are looking for is someone who will fit into their company culture and prove easy to work with in the long run. Flexibility, friendliness, and enthusiasm can often be just as important as your qualifications, perhaps even more so.

Myth #5: The interviewer wants you to be ambitious.

When you’re asked where you see yourself in five years, the right answer isn’t necessarily that you hope to be climbing the corporate ladder. Interviewers often want to know that you’re looking for a job you can be content with for a long time to come, not merely a stepping stone to something better.

Prepare for your next interview by dispelling these myths from your mind—and be training yourself to expect the unexpected. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. team via http://www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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