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Why You're Not Getting That Second Interview

18/05 2017Posted by: npower Resourcing Team Subscribe to this blog


Job interviews can be tricky to gauge: there’s nothing more frustrating than walking out of an interview convinced it went well and two days later receiving an email saying that the position has gone to somebody else. Confusing as it may be, there could be a reason that you’re not being called back, and some things to follow up on so you can land that dream second interview and then- hopefully- that dream job.

Do you live up to your CV?

Managers want you to learn quickly and hit the ground running: they don’t want you to need a lot of hand-holding. The reason people hire is often to make their lives easier and as such they want you to be a quick study and pick up things as you go along. Everybody’s guilty of over-exaggerating their CV at some point, but if you start adding skills and responsibilities that you haven’t technically done there’s a large change you’ll be called out on it. Interviews, after all, are where employers find out if you’re a good fit for the role!
How to fix it: Look at the requirements of the job before you apply for it, and then cross-reference those requirements with your CV.

Are you prepared?

Interviewers want to know that you’re passionate about the company, and about the role. What better way to assess that then testing you on what you know? Knowing about what the company does, who’s in charge, what the role entails and even who your prospective employer’s competition is all go a long way to showing that you’re committed to the role and want to be taken seriously as a candidate. 
How to fix it: It’s stating the obvious perhaps, but it’s still vital: do your research on the company and the role in advance. Prepare questions, both about the role and about the skills you can bring to it. Perhaps most importantly, read the job description!

Are you a good cultural fit?

Interviews are where companies weed out people that aren’t a good fit for the company, not just in the skills you can bring to the role but in the way you’ll fit into the team. It’s important to channel the ethos of the company you’re applying for, especially in the way you dress. Suits are great for a corporate role, but not for a hipster tech start-up. Do your research: all employers like you to be interested, engaged and passionate, but if there are particular attributes that they’re looking for make sure you make a note of it. 
How to fix it: It’s important to do your research here. Don’t apply to a company you think you wouldn’t fit in at, even if the job prospects are great: if you’re not happy, there’s a good chance you won’t stay long and you won’t be as productive as you would be doing a job you love.

Are you being nervous?

Nerves are a completely reasonable thing to feel during an interview; after all, this job could be the start of your career! That said, it’s important to make sure that these nerves don’t show in the interview itself, especially as they can make you do things that interviewers don’t take too kindly to. Watch out for classic mistakes such as staring at their face, looking at the table for the entirety of the meeting, speaking too quickly or interrupting your interviewer.
How to fix it: Before the interview, try doing some breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Remember to speak slowly and make eye contact, and wait until people have finished speaking before jumping in.

Are you being over-eager?

Like sharks, interviewers can sense desperation. Yes, this interview may be for your dream job, but acting like these people are the only ones that are willing to hire you will definitely put them off, as will a barrage of follow-up emails and calls afterwards.
How to fix it: Be confident, and keep your cool. Be appreciative and interested rather than desperate. A good practice to follow is reviewing follow up calls and emails before sending them, rather than sending them on the spur of the moment.

Are you being rude?

An important part of going for any interview is that you must make an interviewer want you. Being rude, or inconsiderate, is a definite turn-off for any prospective employers. Keep your demands to a minimum: don’t start off an interview by talking about holidays you want to take, as it shows a lack of commitment to a job you’ve not even received yet.
How to fix it: Don’t consistently interrupt your interviewer: instead, be passionate about the job, and interested in what they’re saying. As a candidate, don’t ask ‘what’s in it for me’: at interview stage, people are generally more focused on what you can bring to them. After all, they have quite a few people to choose from!

Though the gap between first and second interview can seem huge at times, the key to getting to the next stage in the application process is to impress your interviewers. If you’re confident, polite and show them that you know what you’re talking about, then there won’t be anything standing in your way from getting even closer to landing your dream job.
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