Perhaps this is why you are failing at job interviews

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

During an interview most job seekers place 100% of their focus on ensuring they sell relevant skills and experience. Yes, I agree, this is extremely important. Interviewers want to know that you’ve got the ability, experience and qualifications to do their job. However, there are two other important factors they’ll be assessing - your genuine interest and your personality fit. Ignoring these key areas will cost you important job offers.

Do you have a genuine interest in the job?

If an interviewer doesn’t think you want their job, then they won’t hire you. Unless, of course, they’re desperate, but you’ll find there aren’t too many skills in short supply in the current job market.

How do you address this …

  • It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it: An interviewer will be reading your body language and tone throughout an interview. You MUST be upbeat and energetic.
  • Hidden questions: Interviewers assess your interest via hidden questions. Your interest may be called into question if you fail to navigate these questions - (a) Do you have any questions? (b) What do you know about our company? (c) Why do you want to work for our company?

Do you have the right personality fit?

An interviewer won’t hire you if they don’t think they can put up with you for 40+ hours a week. Your personality fit will be assessed throughout the interview. Unfortunately, from my experience, most job seekers hide their personality during job interviews. Poor preparation means they’re distracted, purely focusing on trying to find the answers to interview questions. Other job seekers stifle their personality, wrongly believing they’ve got to be upright and serious.

How do you address this …

  • Build rapport: Use LinkedIn to research the interviewer(s). People tend to like people similar to themselves. Finding a common ground at interview can help you build rapport. Getting on with an interviewer can play a big part in landing the role.
  • Ask questions during the interview: Asking questions during an interview can make it feel a bit more conversational, helping you relax more.
  • Be yourself: Don’t be afraid to be yourself at interview, you’ll come across more natural. Also, it’ll be one less thing to have to think about.
  • Smile: Don’t be afraid to smile. No one will be offended by a smile. If they are, do you really want to work there?

Paul Mullan is founder of Measurability, a leading Irish outplacement and career coaching service. Visit for information about outplacement services, CV writing or interview coaching.