You’ve got a great resume. How do you know this? Because it’s doing what it’s supposed to do – getting you the interviews, the problem is that after the interview you never hear back. What’s going on? Sounds like you’re the perfect candidate on paper, but in person it might be a different story.
While there are many things that may influence a hiring manager in a face to face interview, let’s start with some of the easiest ones to fix.
INTERVIEW SKILLS – If you’ve been met with silence after several interviews it’s time to take a good, long look at your interviewing skills. This is a great time to ask a trusted friend or colleague to help you out. It’s hard to see your own faults so having someone else look at it from an outside perspective can help you pinpoint the areas for improvement. It might be hard to have someone point out flaws or weaknesses but if it’s done constructively and you don’t take it personally, it will benefit you in the end. It could be that you fidget too much, or say um, too often. Videotaping a mock interview and seeing these things for yourself can be helpful.
APPEARANCE – Yes, judging someone by their appearance is shallow and unprofessional but it happens. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had to go on an interview you may need to update your wardrobe or hairstyle. Or even if you have been on interviews over the last few years there may be something about your wardrobe that is turning off employers. Sometimes it depends on the workplace, but you can’t go wrong with a coordinated, modern suit in a neutral color – for men and women. Women, play it down with the makeup, anything too flashy or trendy may call attention away from your skills and qualifications. Easy on the perfume and cologne, don’t overpower the interviewer. A professional hairstyle never hurts either.
PERSONALITY – Changing your personality can be hard if not impossible so it’s important to find the areas of your personality that may rub people the wrong way and suppress them during an interview. You might think you are confident but it could be perceived as arrogance. Or if humor is your thing, an interview might not be the best place to crack a few jokes. Maybe you talk too much about what you want and not what you could do for the company. It could be that you are quiet, but others interpret you as passive.
It’s always important to put your best foot forward and while you might think you are doing just that, if the phone’s not ringing after your interviews then you need to do something about it. You may want to consider hiring a career coach, someone who can give you an objective opinion and suggestions to improve your interview.
by Megan Koehler