Interviews and Mistakes Made by Candidates

Many people have experienced interviews only to learn afterwards they are not the candidates chosen for the positions.  This is true in every career and can be perplexing to the young person who is trying to enter the work force after graduation.  Upon rejection, whether it is via a personal letter or phone call, the person begins to ask the questions “What am I doing wrong?  Why don’t they like me well enough to hire me?  How can I have experience if I have not gotten a full time position yet?”

Recruiters are beginning to reveal the reasons why certain candidates are not getting the job offers.  It appears that the recurring reasons include poor preparation prior to the interview, inadequate listening skills as it relates to matching answers to the specific questions, and a lack of enthusiasm for the position being offered.

It is very significant that graduates understand that they must prepare prior to an interview.  Preparation involves good research regarding the position and company.  This can be accomplished by studying the websites that are linked with the company you might be interested in joining.  A good example involves education majors who are planning for interviews at specific school districts.  The greatest majority of the districts have websites that provide a wealth of information regarding the mission of the district, the breakdown of the schools and grade levels, and the curriculum that is being taught.  The best candidates will spend numerous hours on preparing for the interview so that they can appear confident and well informed while answering questions.

Many employers are revealing that job candidates do not answer the questions they are asked.  This can be very frustrating to the interviewer especially if the questions are ones selected so that the candidate can reveal the knowledge that must be possessed for the job.  Be sure you listen very carefully to the question being asked.  If a question is “What do you think is important when it comes to managing students/employees?” be sure you start your answer with the phrase in the question…”I believe that good student management involves…”.  By repeating the essential theme of the question, the interviewer reinforces that he/she was listening to the interviewer…thus strengthening the interest in the candidate’s answer.

Who would think that recruiters would mention that candidates being interviewed show a lack of interest and enthusiasm in the position and the company?  However, this has been mentioned in various articles related to job interviews.  Monster.com has stated that “a firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Speaking distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky also will send the message that you are enthusiastic and very interested.”

Graduates who are planning to attend interviews conducted by school districts need to ensure that they have studied the school district and understand what positions are available.  It will also be helpful to focus complete attention on the questions being asked and to make sure that the answers definitely reflect what the interviewer is interested in knowing.  Be sure to demonstrate your knowledge by offering additional information regarding your prior teaching experiences when the opportunity arises.

Here are some other links that offer additional tips regarding the interview process:








Originally posted on Donna Hupe’s blog on the Saint Vincent College website.
Opinions and views are her own, and not that of the College.

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