Securing employment is not getting easier. It is important to make the most of each job opportunity. On the whole, women are faring at least as well as men in the interview process. In fact, a recent study at the University of Western Ontario showed that women performed better in interviews because they were more prepared. Women are more likely to funnel their interview anxiety into preparation, doing more research about the company and the position as well as spending more time practicing for the interview. There are, however, five common interviewing mistakes that women make more commonly than men.
Top 5 mistakes for women to avoid when interviewing for a job:
#5 Inappropriate pictures or comments on social media. Employers will search you. Check to see if your social media presence reflects a professional image. Remove and avoid any content that is sexual, religious, or political in nature.
#4 Projecting fear rather than confidence. Everyone is a little unsettled and nervous for an interview. It is important to remember that the employer wants a good hire as much as you want this job. Walk in as if you are the answer to what they are looking for. Not haughty, but with confidence.
#3 Being unaware of your strengths. What makes you the perfect fit for this job? What do you bring to the table that this company needs? Women tend to be overly modest about their accomplishments and hold back during an interview. Learn how to blow your own horn. Share talents and career victories.
#2 Inappropriate dress. You have one chance to make a first impression. People make a decision about your professionalism in the first 3 seconds they lay eyes on you. Short skirts, plunging necklines, wild prints, and bright colors say ‘party girl’, not ‘articulate, intelligent, professional woman’. Studies have proven that women who do not dress professionally are less likely to be hired or move ahead in their careers.
#1 Refusing to negotiate. One of the reasons women earn less than men is that they do not know how to negotiate. Never take the first offer. This is a starting point. Research the job and find out what it pays, then ask for the highest salary in that range.
Interviewing is a skill that requires thought, research, and effort on your part. Consider hiring a coach who specializes in career coaching. It will be well worth your time and money as it empowers you to put your best foot forward.
Dawn Pici is a sales trainer and business strategist who is a certified master trainer in the DISC model of human behavior. Co-author of the book SELL NAKED ON THE PHONE, her company, Pici & Pici Inc provides on-site training in sales and performance management.
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