You are delighted that you have an interview. Or you’ve had several interviews and have not received an offer yet. You don’t understand. You thought you came across well. You thought your answers were on point. You thought you got along well enough with the interviewer. But, you still don’t have a job.
Having provided career counseling services for over a decade, we can assure you that most everyone overestimates their interviewing abilities. Most people do not know how to interview well. We know because not only do we train our clients to interview but we also interview dozens of potential employees for our companies every month.
Indeed, it might be that the subject of interviewing skills creates the biggest surprise for our career counseling clients. Many of our career counseling clients are really unaware of the variety of flaws that they have in their interview styles. The reason is simple: the only “training” people have is when they are on interviews and interviewers do not provide feedback. Very few people ever do real mock interviews with career counseling experts. At best, most have run through some questions with a friend. This is not training.
Non-verbal issues are often the biggest area of revelation for those seeking career advice on how to interview during a job search.
Two career counseling clients from the last few years come to mind. The first, who I will call “Jack”, was bewildered by his inability to secure any job despite nearly a dozen interviews and a stellar resume. Within two minutes, I pointed out that he made minimal eye contact, slouched while he sat, and paused for an unusually long time before answering questions. Twenty other non-verbal and content errors were pointed out throughout the hour long meeting. Jack was astonished, not by how bad he was at interviewing but that no one ever told him any of these obvious problems.
A second client, who I will call “Jill”, had the same general problem that Jack did: many interviews, no jobs. While I am far from an expert on women’s clothing, it seemed immediately apparent that Jill had been dressing in a mismatched way for her interviews. She simply didn’t look like a fit for the jobs in her field of interest.
If you have secured a job interview, remember you only have one chance to make a first impression. We can help.