It is amazing sometimes what people say and do on interviews. Here, I outline a few stupid final interview mistakes that too many people of me.
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I'm back today with what I call stupid final interview mistakes. To be clear, these are the kind of mistakes that are little bit different than the ones that I have pointed out previously because these are the ones to just killed it off at that moment when the opportunity could be yours. Where you are competing on a final interview, and you just do something dumb. Let me just point out some of the things that people can do that will just shoot themselves in the foot and send the candidacy down the drain. They are in no particular order.

1. You arrive late.

2. You just barely or inappropriately for the interview. I'm looking to tell you how to dress because you may be listening to this at a time when styles are different. I simply say the dressing inappropriately for this audience . . . I use an example from a hedge fund the used to recruit for... They used to hate people who wore ties. If you suddenly were talking to an interview, they got turned off. They used to think of ties is something to catch food on if you are sloppy eater.

3. You start feeling arrogant because you think the job is yours. That attitude starts to leak out. You get too cocky and forget that you might be competing with someone and act like the job is yours. In fact, you are competing. You are competing against another person or people or your competing against, "Let's go back and see if there's someone else." Never treat this as though it is a formality.

I remember one time I was a relatively junior person, 1 of my colleagues had someone on interviews with someone in Westchester New York. The person was there from 8 AM until 5 PM. His final interview is with the head of the function he will be working for. What happens is is that the head of the function asks why he is looking for a job. It's hard to imagine someone delivering a racist moment like this. But he did. The candidate says, "I work with a bunch of slobs and Indians."

How do you expect someone to respond to this? Do you expect is can act like a best friend? No! Suffice to say, he didn't get the job offer, thank goodness. Recognize that you can shoot yourself in the foot by thinking that the job is yours and your arrogance comes out.

4. Your answers to questions are incongruent with things you said previously. As a result, people start to compare notes and go, "He said this. But is now saying this? Something doesn't add up." He makes them hesitate. When firms hesitate, they reject. They know they can trust you.

5. They ask stupid questions of the interview. How many weeks of vacation do I get? Immature stuff that seems ridiculous.

6. They arrived unprepared. MINIMALLY you look at the LinkedIn profile the person you will be meeting with to get an idea of your background. See what they look like if there's a photo there. Do a Google search to see if there's any new news about the organization to see if this is a subject that you want to ask questions about.

7. You start making new demands. This is part of that arrogance thing that people sometimes do. New demands make firm scratched her head and wonder, "What's with this person? I don't get it. We've been talking about this all along and now they bring this up? They ask for $20,000 more? No explanation? They just up the price?"

8. They are too casual and forget that there still competing. I mentioned this on a video and is the notion . . . It came from the story where represented someone for position, the firm flew him out and he is talking with his future boss. She asked him a question, everything had been going so well for so long in this interview for such a hard to find skill and experience. He is 1 of the few people in the world who have this background. His response to 1 of her questions was to say, "I'll talk with you about that when I come on board." She thought this was ridiculous and rejected him. Rightly so.

Recognize that you are always competing. You're always doing something to sell yourself into the role or cause you to be rejected. Don't get lazy. Don't get arrogant. Don't become casual and never EVER think that the job is in the bag.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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18 Responses
  1. P V Iyer

    Sir, you are years older than us but you are succinctly able to catch the pulse and provide wise solutions.. Not a single career coach does what you do.

    1. Jeff Altman

      Thank you for noticing that the advice I give is world class. Yes, I am years older. You are hearing what all of my experience has taught me that I share in YouTube. I hope you share the video you like . . . and that you actually give what you like a thumbs up. Whether it’s my videos or someone else’s, it helps with discovery and tells others it is a worthwhile video.

    1. Jeff Altman

      Thank you for letting me know. As you can probably tell, I’ve put in a lot of effort, thousands of videos. It is great to hear from people I helped.

  2. Max Gawryla

    As a heads up, the Blue Yeti isn’t a shotgun mic. You’ll get better audio if you talk into the front of it rather than the top.

  3. Florent IDARGO

    1. Arrive Late
    2. Dress unprofessional/take interest in the company dress code particularities
    3. Don’t be arrogant when feeling the job is yours/being cocky Not Okay
    3,5. Being racist not recommended
    4. Interview process can be long and often built on multiple round, be sure being coherent throughout each step. (The company needs to trust you.)
    5. Asking off topic/immature questions at the end (i.e. how many vacations months, etc)
    6. Do look at the linkedin profile of the interviewer, be prepared on the company news (aka google search it and ask question related to what is up)
    7. Changing your demands, as you feel the job is yours, don’t make it an excuse to rise your price (breaks trust)
    8. Do not be too casual, YOU ARE ALWAYS COMPETING.

    In short, the job is never yours until you signed it 🙂 good luck everyone!

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