You got the job interview — now don’t make these mistakes

WASHINGTON — A flawless resume and an outstanding cover letter only get you in the door for step two: the job interview. And a recent survey highlights the most common mistakes candidates make during job interviews.

Accountemps surveyed chief financial officers at companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. cities, asking them about top mistakes. At the very top of the list is “little or no knowledge about the company.”

“Employers are looking for job candidates who provide the ‘wow’ factor and can immediately demonstrate the value they bring,” said Accountemps district president Bill Driscoll. “Showing up for the interview unprepared tells the hiring manager that the applicant has little interest in being hired.”

Three of the biggest interview killers have little to do with a candidate’s actual skills. They are:

  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Showing up late for the interview
  • Lack of eye contact

Being unprepared to discuss skills and experience, and being unprepared to discuss career plans or goals also rank high on the list of job interview killers.

And regarding the resume and cover letter that might get you in the door?  Accountemps says proofread, and don’t overdo it. Here’s a sentence from an actual resume:

Job Duties: Communicate financial projections to steakholders.

And here’s a line from an actual cover letter:

All I Ask is for you to consider my perspicacious aspiration to become an ertude factorum in your organization.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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