It is not unusual to have mixed emotions after landing your first big job interview. From learning how to deal with the jitters to putting the finishing touches on your resume, effective preparation can provide a key advantage for those who are preparing for their first executive-level job interview. Taking steps to avoid the most common interview mistakes can go a long towards ensuring you make a positive impression.
Establish Your Credentials
Education, skills and work history should all be firmly established long before you sit down to an interview. While you will most likely be asked to elaborate on a few key points, spending too much time establishing your background or detailing your qualifications may prove to be a serious liability. When it comes to applying for an executive-level position, even the most impressive credentials may only serve to help get a foot in the door and wasting valuable interview time recapping information that should have been covered within your resume could be a costly mistake.
Crafting a Personalized Resume
Supplying a generic resume or a boiler-plate cover letter is perhaps the single biggest mistake that applicants are likely to make. The most effective are executive resumes are those that have been individually tailored with regards to both the company and position being sought. A detailed cover letter can also be a major asset, one that will provide you with a valuable opportunity to demonstrate by your drive and your research skills by learning all you can about your prospective employer.
Developing the Right Mindset
Even with impeccable credentials and plenty of time to prepare, there is still no guarantee that the interview will go smoothly. Becoming too caught up with minor misstep can have a toxic effect on your confidence, outlook and overall performance. Appearances count for a lot and interviews are more likely to respond favorably to those who possess a mindset and attitude that allows them to project an air of confidence.
Take the Initiative
Being too passive during an interview can also be detrimental. Seizing the initiative and knowing how to steer the conversation can be essential for securing a job offer. Applicants and candidates who do little more than respond to questions may have a much harder time showcasing themselves in a dynamic light. Making it a point to seize the imitative during your interview is a great way to make sure you are able to stand out from the crowd.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.