smugAfter coaching hundreds of professionals over the years, it has been enlightening to see and understand the various reasons people don’t get hired.

Here are a few mistakes you can easily avoid with a little practice:

Mistake #1: Too Arrogant

There is a fine line between the confidence you need to have and being overly confident in a job interview. If you catch yourself saying any of the following statements you might be you might be skating that line:

“I am in no rush.”

“I need XXX of money.”

“I am being interviewed by ___ other companies.”

State your achievements, but stay grounded, respectful and diplomatic to ensure the best outcome. Make certain your potential employer knows you are enthusiastic about the position!

Mistake #2: Too Laid Back

I am a big believer that things end where they begin and most employers would agree that first impressions are paramount. Failing to promptly return calls and send thank you notes are easy errors to make that have disastrous implications.

Mistake #3: Still Grieving

A tumultuous split, being fired, or being laid off, are all difficult situations that usually require a grieving process to get over. Denying yourself the time it takes to heal and move on can result in your being “less than your best” in your interviews. You might not even notice it, but unfortunately, your interviewers will.

Give yourself a little time. Have some kind of “moving on” ceremony (this helps tremendously), so when it comes time to talk about your past employment, you can do so without raising any red flags.

Mistake #4: Too Money-Driven

When you put the focus on the salary you will command too early in the interview, or before you are asked about money, then you are perceived as asking for money, not wanting to add value to the company. Keep the focus on the value you bring to your potential employer and the money almost always takes care of itself.

Mistake #5: Too Vague

The best way for you to pique the interest of potential employers from the start is to take a strong sales/consultant role. Meaning specifically, you must continue to peel back the onion of their needs and then speak to those needs. They will be the key reasons for wanting to hire you, so show them you understand what their challenges are and demonstrate you have the solutions. Failing to zero in on your potential employers’ needs can cost you the job.

By understanding how we are perceived in interview situations it’s much easier to circumvent potential roadblocks to your career success and the job of your dreams.