10 Intelligent Tips to Avoid Looking Desperate in a Job Interview

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avoid overselling in a job interview

Picture this out: You’re the hiring manager, interviewing a candidate who sounds too obvious and desperate on winning the job. Can you imagine the cringe-worthy scenario? Job interview is the perfect moment for you to demonstrate your abilities and skills for the job. But how can you do that without sounding desperate? Avoid overselling in a job interview with these tips:

1. Establish a proper first impression

First impression lasts. Remember that from the moment you enter the room, you will be judged on everything you do. Smile politely and give a firm handshake. This way you can score a good first impression without an air of desperation.

2. Temper your humor

Taking advantage of your humor to break the ice in a job interview may be effective. But be very careful with the comments you throw. Otherwise, it will be misinterpreted by your potential recruiter. Remember, you’re there to impress for a new job and not to make a fool out of yourself.

3. Balance your answers

Another way to avoid overselling in a job interview is to answer questions with caution. DO NOT use excessive terms such as, “completely awful” or “totally amazing” when describing your past experience, as potential hiring managers find it unrealistic or unbalanced.

Be balanced in discussing your work experiences, so you will not sound exaggerating your viewpoints.

4. Avoid making excuses

Job interview is an exercise of self-promotion, but it shouldn’t mean you cover up your gaps with excuses. Being defensive with your lack of skills will give your future recruiter a reason to hire someone else. Clearly, they won’t even give a cent to your personal issues.

5. Don’t badmouth your previous employer

Your grudge against your previous employer or former colleagues won’t help convince the recruiter to give you the job to start anew. Playing the blaming game will make you appear weak, desperate, and lacking the ability to manage or participate in a team.

6. Write out your strengths in mind

Few days before the interview, write down and recite your strengths, and rehearse them as if you’re already discussing them to your prospective employer. This will not only help you remember important highlights of your skills, but will make you feel confident and calm, as well.

7. Dodge the “desperate language”

Although you may have come a long way to get called for an interview, begging for the job should be the least thing you would do. Focus on how you can get enough experience or skills to win the position, instead of telling your future employer, “I’ll do anything to get the job.

8. Resist the urge to accept the offer too quickly

One of the best tricks to avoid overselling in a job interview is to appear “available” for other opportunities (even if you’re pleased with the current offer). If your possible employer makes an offer, thank him/her and ask if you can call back later that day. Don’t wait too long, though. They may think you’re not interested with the job.

9. Watch your body language

Make sure your body language won’t make you appear too confident in winning the job. Before the job interview, take time to rehearse your smile, eye contact, or handshake. Avoid fidgeting as it portrays defensiveness, or crossing your arms as it can be interpreted as arrogance.

10. Follow up once

Being interested is far different from being desperate. Only follow up once; state in your follow-up email how you enjoyed meeting with the interviewer and that you’re still open for questions that aren’t tackled in the interview. If they did not follow up two days (or latter) after, let go of it.

Job interview is like dating: making yourself obvious to your prospective hiring managers will make you less desirable for the position. Avoid overselling in a job interview with these wise tips and you’re guaranteed to land a job that’s totally for you!


Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Sources: Coburg Banks; Think Resources, Inc.

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