When candidates share too much, they can turn their potential employers away. It is important that candidates for any position know that their words are the most important part. When an employer asks “What is your greatest weakness?” it is not necessary to delve into your childhood trauma, or start complaining about your home life. These types of answers may sound like they would garner empathy, but that is not the point of an interview.
2. Professionalism (or, lack thereof)
This is all about your appearance. You have to show up like you are coming to your first day on the job. The most critical part of your interview is the way you walk in the door. If you look like you rolled out of bed, or even worse, smell like you did there is a low likelihood of landing your job. Get your clothes tailored to fit your body, display modesty, cover tattoos or piercings, and brush your teeth. There is nothing more off-putting than a great candidate with a body odor.
3. Language choices
Try not to use slang, contractions, or abbreviations. Even though it may be tempting to joke around and show off your amazing sense of humor, you are not at open mic night. Try to maintain professionalism and poise, while showcasing your very best self.
4. Being overly guarded
While oversharing is a problem, so is under-sharing. Your hopeful employer is trying to get to know you, so just reciting the “right” answers will not make you stand out. Lower your guard, and remember that the person interviewing you is just that–a person. If the interviewer asks you where you’re from, you can say “Go Aggies”! This is endearing and keeps the interview on track.
Do not lie about your work experience or your past. If you have something questionable in your application and it comes up, come clean. The worst situation you can put yourself in is a lie from the start. Try your best to explain anything that might be a red flag with a sense of optimism, and don’t exaggerate your past.
When an employer asks about your greatest strength, make it a humble brag. When it comes to your greatest weakness, make it something that you have actively been improving. For example, I love to say that my greatest weakness is my ability to work quickly, which sometimes leads me to skip little details. However, it is something I have been trying to fine tune, and I am getting better every day!