For the last 17 years, I have supported job seekers to make that step up the ladder. Some candidates are getting interviews but struggling to convert these into offers.
When it comes to sitting across the table in a job interview, some candidates tend to show nervousness, negative body language, or waffle and struggle to give direct, precise answers.
It is important to understand where you are falling down to ensure you put your best foot forward at a job interview. Here are a few reasons you may be struggling to convert interviews into job offers.
1. Your confidence is low, and it shows
Being nervous is natural in an interview, but low confidence will be written all over your face. You are trying to give the interviewer confidence that you can do a great job, but with limited confidence yourself, this can be a challenge.
This is where preparation will give you the edge.
Prepare specific examples of where you have shown three skills that are most relevant to the role.
Prepare three achievements in your recent roles.
Prepare three examples of where you have shown the ability to learn and develop new skills quickly. Every new role will have new elements to learn. Giving a proven example of your learning ability will give both you and the interviewer confidence.
Finally, practice speaking your answers out loud with conviction.
2. Your answers are too short
Giving general, vague answers will not give enough insight into you and your behaviours to give the interviewers the confidence to offer you the job.
Giving well-structured concrete examples of how your individual actions influenced a situation is critical, particularly in a competency-based interview.
Q. Tell me about a time you worked under pressure.
Don’t say: Yes, I worked to deadlines every Thursday to get my report out, so I am used to working to deadlines.
This is too short and gives no insight into how you successfully manage deadlines and pressurised situations.
Do say: Yes, I had a large project due for completion last month. The deadline was moved forward by a week due to an audit, so I:
Rescheduled other work where possible to prioritise the new deadline
Met with stakeholders and discussed additional resources short-term for the upcoming week
Held a daily 15-minute update with the project team to review progress and give additional support
These are your actions. The interviewer needs to understand your behaviours and actions, so giving this detail is key. You can read more here about how to make use of the STAR Method in interviews.
3. Show humility
The ability to embrace your weaknesses and ask for support when needed is essential. It is important to show self-awareness to identify any skills gaps. It also shows honesty, which is critical for building rapport and relationships in both the interview and the job itself.
Q. Have you worked with Salesforce before?
Don’t say: No, but I am excellent with systems and technology.
Do say: No, not with Salesforce specifically. However, I have worked with multiple other similar CRMs in the past, such as A and B, and got myself up and running quickly, but I would need a little bit of support to familiarise myself with Salesforce at the beginning.
4. It’s out of your control
Unfortunately, sometimes you could do a fantastic interview, and an offer will still not come. This may be due to any of the following reasons:
The needs of the business have changed
There is a hiring or budget freeze
The level of the role is not right for you
An internal person got the role
Simply not a good fit, technical or otherwise
Unfortunately, these things happen, and it is out of your control. You cannot influence this in any way, so you should take no feeling of rejection from this. You can ask for feedback after a period of time (I suggest 2 weeks), but accept the outcome is out of your control. It happens more than we would like. Focusing your energy on other applications and opportunities will be a much better use of your energy in your job search. When you do get that call you've been hoping for, make sure you are prepared to negotiate the job offer and contract details.
If you are currently looking for a job or undertaking interviews, read on for more interview advice and insights on our website, or apply for a job today to secure your next interview.
Associate Director | Munster