It's a scenario countless job seekers are familiar with: You have a solid resume, so you have no problem getting called in for interviews. You then breeze through the interview process, or so you think, only to have those meetings go absolutely nowhere.
If you're tired of landing job interviews that ultimately amount to nothing, you're not alone. But it's crucial to understand why this keeps happening so that you can take steps to change your pattern. Here are a few reasons your interviews may not be panning out.
1. You're Selling Yourself Short in Interviews
The last thing you want to do during an interview is come off as boastful or arrogant. But if you err too heavily on the side of underplaying your talents, you'll end up hurting your chances of getting an offer.
If you're having trouble getting past the interview phase, think about the way you've been presenting yourself during those meetings. Have you been glossing over key accomplishments at past jobs to come off as humble? Have you been forgetting to mention those accomplishments altogether? Study your behavior, and if you find that you've been selling your skills short, pledge to change. Otherwise, you're likely to remain stuck in your current fruitless cycle.
2. You're Botching Key Interview Questions
The purpose of an interview isn't to just rehash your skills and experience, but to see how you handle challenges — including tough interview questions. But if you've yet to master the art of answering those tricky questions, it could explain why your interviews seem to repeatedly go nowhere. Before you apply to any new roles, think back on the past few interviews you participated in, and jot down the questions that threw you. Then spend some time coming up with answers so you're prepared.
For example, one cruel interview question that tends to trap candidates is the dreaded "What's your greatest weakness?" Applicants tend to hate that question because it forces them to highlight flaws that their interviewers may not otherwise have picked up on. But if you learn how to answer questions like that the right way, you'll have a better chance of success.
3. Your Personality Isn't Shining Through
Having the right skills and experience for a job will only get you so far. If you really want to boost your chances of getting a job offer, you'll need to show your interviewers that you're the type of person who's not only talented but also great to work with. Many job searchers don't end up getting hired because they're nervous during the interview process or come off as too polished or rehearsed. Your best bet? Relax a little during interviews, and just be yourself. With any luck, you'll come off as the type of person who's likely to fit right in.
4. You're Applying to the Wrong Jobs
Maybe you're doing a good job of establishing rapport with your interviewers and tackling the challenging questions that come your way. If that's the case, then the problem might boil down to the fact that you're applying for jobs that don't mesh with your background or personality.
For example, if you're a clear go-getter with strong people skills, you may have trouble landing a sales assistant role. Why? Because your interviewers might assume that you'll get bored in that position quickly, and that working behind the scenes just isn't right for you.
Remember, just as being underqualified might hurt your chances at landing a job offer, so, too, might being overqualified trip you up. That's why it's important to find openings that align with your experience, goals and energy level. Identifying those positions might be a matter of trial and error, but don't give up or get discouraged by the fact that your interviews haven't amounted to much. It could be that you're not the problem, but rather the jobs are.
One final thing: Even in today's market, there's a lot of competition out there, so if you go on a series of interviews but don't get any offers, it could be a simple matter of having been slightly edged out by another candidate. In other words, just because you're not landing job offers doesn't mean there's an actual problem at play, so if you've ruled out the problems we've discussed here, go forward with just a bit more patience. With any luck, you'll eventually snag an offer — and a great one at that.
This article was originally published on The Motley Fool. It is reprinted with permission.
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