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Interview crimes and how to avoid them

Interview crimes and how to avoid them

19 Jan 18:00 by Jenni Moulson

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If you have ever left an interview saying, “I could have answered that question better than I did,” you are not alone. Even those with a strong skill set and vast experience do not always know how to sell their qualifications effectively to hiring managers.

Here are some common pitfalls which can easily be avoided:

Failing to research a company – do your homework

There’s no point walking into an interviewer’s office if you haven’t prepared in advance. Learn as much as possible about a prospective employer – it’s time and money well spent. Use your professional network and HVAC publications to determine the company’s business priorities, competitors and market position. This will help you demonstrate how you can make a difference at the firm.

Saying too little or too much

You do not want to skip vital information but you also do not want to go into too much detail. Both extremes can create a negative impression with interviewers. If your responses are too brief, interviewers may wonder if you are hiding something; if they are too lengthy, people may switch off. Practise your responses with friends, family or colleagues. They can provide useful feedback.

Ignoring prompts from the interviewer

One of the most valuable, yet underrated, skills is the ability to listen, understand and absorb what the other person is saying. If you concentrate too intently on forming your responses, you can miss critical information offered by the interviewer.

Throughout the discussion, interviewers may provide useful clues as to what they are looking for in candidates, allowing you to tailor your answers to their requirements. If you learn to adopt this technique, then interviews can be far more interactive and productive, giving you an opportunity to tell your potential HVAC employer exactly where you might fit into the organization.

Not being yourself 

You may want to ‘sell’ yourself from the off but be very careful not to overstate your case. Some sales managers get so focused on saying the right thing, that they do not give an accurate portrayal of their skills and interests. It will benefit both you and the employer if you present an accurate picture of your qualifications so an appropriate match can be made to the position.

Failing to ask questions, especially when prompted 

Interviews work both ways, so be ready with your own questions. This is an important opportunity for you to find out whether the HVAC company interviewing you is right for you and your career. Ask about the role itself, how you might fit into the organization and how your career might develop within the organisation. Prepare a few questions before you arrive and don’t be afraid to take in a notepad and pen so that you can write down any additional points that arise.