I Can’t Believe He Did That! Interview #Fails that Cost Him the Job

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Last week we shared some important Interview Etiquette Tips we’ve given our candidates throughout the years. Unfortunately, not every candidate takes them to heart…
Throughout my 20+ years in recruiting, I have encountered quite a few job search and interview “fails”. While some of these might seem like obvious gaffes, others were simple examples of good professional decision making gone wrong. Ultimately, what you as the job seeker need to remember is that you are still “interviewing” for the job and proving you are the right candidate for the job for at least 60-90 days after you start the new position!

Here are a few Job Seeker Fails we’ve actually encountered (and you want to avoid).

It may seem like you’re hired but the boss may still be deciding if you’ve got the job.

1. Assuming the final interview is simply a “rubber stamp.”

It doesn’t matter if the hiring manager or CEO tells you your final interview is “simply a formality.” It is still important! Some companies want to test your resolve and commitment to the job by observing how you conduct yourself when your guard is down. So do not arrive at your final interview with tobacco in your lip and a Pepsi can as your spittoon! Showing up too drunk to stand up, with your own “refreshments” in a non-descript cup is another “fail” to avoid. I guarantee, it will not end well for you.

2. Renegotiating your compensation for the wrong reasons.

I am a big proponent of seeking the compensation you deserve. Not all companies are looking to hire the best talent for the least amount of money. If you can demonstrate how the value of your skills is higher than the suggested compensation, by all means, make the sale. However, returning to the hiring manager and asking for an increase in compensation simply because your spouse makes more money than you… Not recommended.

Your boss is looking. Social media use will impact hiring.

3. Sharing your recent weekend on social media.

Like I said earlier, once you have landed the job, you are still “interviewing”. Employers want you to prove you were the right hire. They want to see you going the extra mile, taking on more than you are asked to do, and being on your best behavior. Calling the boss to let her know you will be coming in late on Monday because you “aren’t feeling well” and then posting about your all-night binge in Tijuana is not going to end well. And whatever you do, do NOT share pictures like these using your work computer or during company time. Better yet, don’t post it to begin with! (Our motto: If you wouldn’t want your mom to read it, don’t post it!)

4. Feeling a little too “at home” at the office.

Office culture ranks fairly high on most job seekers’ list of “demands”. The days of standing around the water cooler might be over, but offices without walls, the addition of communal break areas, and providing corporate gyms are an excellent way for companies to make the office a more comfortable home-away-from-home and promote community. However, no matter how “homey” the second floor might be, it is not, in fact, your home. Therefore, taking a 6-minute phone call from a family member during a staff meeting or even at your desk, napping on your desk, and leaving the office in the middle of the day because you feel like it’s been a “long week” – only 1 week into your new job – are not choices we would endorse.

There are few things more satisfying than calling off your job search because you landed the job you wanted. However, your “interview” isn’t over just because you’ve passed the first 3 interviews or have been assigned a desk. Be smart and put your best self forward any time you walk into the building. Avoid the Fails we’ve shared (and witnessed) or your activities may just land you back in the unemployment line.

Download your copy of “I Can’t Believe He Did That! Interview #Fails That Cost Him the Job”

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