Why Candidates Don’t Perform As Well As They Could In Job Interviews

Whether we like it or not performing well in job interviews is essential if you are going to achieve the success in your career that you desire.  A few seem just to be able to go in and perform consistently well in job interviews while others find it a real struggle.

We all know that job interviews can be stressful and that we all respond differently to pressurised situations.  Some will thrive under pressure while others fall to pieces.

In my experience there are a number of contributors to why candidates don’t perform as well as they could in job interviews.  So what are they and what can you do about them?

Problem #1: Not Doing The Legwork

When you go into a job interview you are in essence inviting the employer to make a major investment decision.  If you were running your own business for example and you were seeking investment you would prepare thoroughly.  Unfortunately candidates still go into job interviews poorly prepared.

Solution: Make sure that you set aside plenty of time to prepare for job interviews so that you walk in ready to deal with anything that is thrown at you.

Problem #2: Not Considering The Needs Of The Decision Makers

Managers and leaders who are employed are in the main risk averse.  They want to get it right and worry about how they will perceived by others if they make the wrong decision.  If you go into the interview thinking about it from your own perspective you will not be considering the needs of the decision makers.  One of the key needs from those recruiting is assurance that you can do the job, fit in and are a safe pair of hands.

Solution: Step into the shoes of the recruiters and think about all the things you will need to tick off to give them the assurance they need.

Problem #3: Seeing Interviews As Being A One Sided Decision

If you are really keen or even desperate for a role, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only decision makers in the process are the employers.  The reality is that you are also a decision maker.  You want to know what kind of company it is and whether it is the kind of place that is right for you in terms of your longer term career.

Solution: Go into the interview with the mindset of it being a two party decision rather than all the trump cards being in the hands of the employer.

Problem #4:  Being Unable To Adapt

You might go into an interview with an idea of what the people who are interviewing you might be like based on what you have read about the organisation.  If you go in expecting an extrovert and upbeat person and you are faced with someone who is introverted and not very friendly, it is easy to get stumped and mismatch styles.

Solution:  Have a clear plan of how you want to tackle the interview and be willing to adapt your style to fit with the preferences of those who are interviewing.  Don’t lose sight of the fact that people will often be more willing to recruit people who are just like them.

The Reality:  Interview success does not come with a guarantee.  At the same time it is often small changes that yield big results in terms of performance and results.

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people achieve great career success.  He invites you to sign up for his free audio masterclass

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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