Oct. 28, 2014 — Even with an improved job market, many people are still failing to get the jobs they want. Their problem may not be due to outside factors, but issues that are within their control, according to OI Global Partners.
“A number of the reasons why people don’t get the jobs they want are due to the way they present themselves and how they perform during interviews,” said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Global Partners. “These reasons include not sufficiently differentiating themselves from other job-seekers, not successfully relating their past experience to the current job opportunity, and not showing enough interest and excitement,” Prosser added.
OI Global Partners surveyed its career consultants throughout North America and developed the following list of the 10 top reasons why people are not getting the jobs they want. They are:
- Do not sufficiently differentiate themselves from others (selected by 67% of consultants)
- Fail to successfully transfer past experience to the current job opportunity (64%)
- Not showing enough interest and excitement (56%)
- Focusing too much on what they want and too little on what the interviewer is saying (54%)
- Feeling they can “wing” the interview without preparation (53%)
- Not being able to personally connect with the interviewer (49%)
- Appearing over- or under-qualified for the job (46%)
- Not asking enough, or the right, questions (41%)
- Not researching a potential employer/interviewer (39%)
- Lacking humor, warmth, or personality during interviewing process (33%)
- Do not set themselves apart from others. “Job-seekers must understand which personal attributes differentiate them from the completion and articulate the unique value they can bring to the position. When they say, ‘This is what I can do for you,” it should be with passion and confidence. They must also read through the job description and perfect their pitches to demonstrate accomplishments that match the job specs,” said Prosser.
- Not successfully transferring past experience to the opportunity. “Job-seekers often don’t see the forest for the trees. They have to evaluate what the company really needs – not just listing buzz words, but connecting their results to the organization’s needs to show how they can solve problems. If they were leaders in a former position, that strength should be communicated – even if it might not be part of the requirements for the job,” said Prosser.
- Not showing enough interest and excitement. “This is where telling a story can make an impact. They should find something in their research about the company, the interviewer, or the job that truly resonates with them and then should share a personal story. Is it product they or their families use? Does the company’s vision connect with something they have done in their careers? Then, they should mention how they would bring that level of excitement and passion to the job. Many people do not fully understand the importance of showing their enthusiasm. Remember, employers hire people, not resumes,” Prosser added.
- Focusing too much on what they want and too little on what the interviewer is saying. “Not listening is inexcusable. Job-seekers need to get the interviewer talking about what the real issues are and why they are looking to hire. In the initial phase of the interview, the employer is more concerned about their needs and how job-seekers might be able to fulfill them. If the interviewer is favorably impressed, then they are more willing to listen to the applicant’s needs,” said Prosser.
- Feeling they can “wing” the interview without preparation. Never underestimate the value of practice, practice, practice. Just because someone has always been a persuasive conversationalist doesn’t necessarily transmit to the interview. They can demonstrate that they are smart and care about doing a good job by preparing for an interview the same way they would prepare a presentation for a boss or a client.
- Not being able to personally connect with the interviewer. “Chemistry comprises 90% of a successful interview. Interviewees can be so focused on the technical stuff that they forget the obvious things. Employers need to personally like job-seekers and want to work with them, regardless of how fabulous their skills and experience may be,” said Prosser.
- Appearing over- or under-qualified for the job. “If people are over-qualified, but see potential in the position, they should have specific reasons why they are taking a step back ready. If they regularly receive feedback they’re over qualified, they probably are. They should stop applying for positions that are beneath their skills. If they are under-qualified, they should work hard to demonstrate how they would quickly come up to speed. They can provide examples of when they had to ramp up, learn new things, and how they did it,” said Prosser.
- Not asking enough, or the right, questions. An interview is a two-way street, and job-seekers should be evaluating the interviewer – and the job being discussed – as much as they are being assessed. They won’t be able to determine whether the job is right for them unless they ask the right questions.
- Not researching a potential employer/interviewer. There is no excuse for this in today’s information age with the research tools available. Job-seekers need to be familiar with each interviewer’s background, anticipate what they will want to know and prepare questions to ask them. Read recent articles about the company, its products and financial performance.
- Lacking humor, warmth, or personality during interviewing process. “Applicants should put their hearts into getting the job. They should visualize what it would be like to land the position, then let their desire and passion for it lead the way in the interview. They need to be sure they are ‘real’ and sincere – most interviewers will read through an act,” said Prosser.
OI Global Partners