Avoiding the Job Interview Overshare

The job interview is oftentimes the last barrier to entry that prospective employees face when attempting to land a new job. From the employer’s perspective, the job interview is meant to accomplish three major things.

First, the employer is interested in making sure that you have the requisite skills to actually perform the tasks you’re being hired for.

Second, the employer is interested in making sure you have the type of personality that will thrive at their workplace.

Third, the employer is interested in finding out how long you are interested in staying at the company.

Focus on the Employer’s Objectives During the Job Interview

It’s important to keep the employer’s objectives in mind when interviewing for a highly sought after position in tech, accounting, law, or finance. In our experience, far too many prospective employees shoot themselves in the foot by providing their employers with redundant or completely unnecessary information while in a job interview.

Your future boss is interested in hearing about how you work in a team, they do not care about the fact that you were on a field hockey team when you were eight years old. Further, in the brave-new world created by social media, prospective employees have gotten far too comfortable sharing intimate details with total strangers. This can spell disaster in a job interview where your competence as a professional is being judged in tandem with your technical capacity.

The following blog post provides some tips on how to get through a business interview without making the mistake of providing too much information to your would-be-employer.

Research the Company You’re Interviewing With

Often a candidate will provide unnecessary information during an interview merely because they feel they need to fill time and they have nothing to ask the interviewee. Nothing shows your lack of competency more than failing to adequately research the company that is thinking about employing you.

A single night of looking through the company’s website or searching for news articles featuring the company should provide you with a reasonable amount of questions that you can ask during an awkward point in the interview where the conversation has died down.

Trust us, an employer would be happier talking about their company than listening to you frantically fill time by describing the weather, your weekend, or the intuitiveness of your pet goldfish.

Dress Appropriately

It’s been said that up to 55% of communication is non-verbal. And dress is non-verbal. Even if you make it through the interview without bringing up a less-than-ideal topic, you can walk away without a job if your conservative employer happened to catch your death-metal tattoo, was put off by your mesh tank-top, or was less-than-impressed by your fashion forward decision to wear shorts.

If you feel like you don’t know whether or not to dress casually or formally, ere on the side of caution. Even if you are in the tech field or the advertising field where your CEO is likely wearing a hoody, the decision to dress-down often communicates the wrong message.

Although you may think you’re communicating that you’re a cool, laid back person, your employer is receiving the message that you are oblivious to even the most basic workplace etiquette.

Prepare for the “What’s Your Weakness?” Question

The question that causes more interview overshares than any other is the “what’s your weakness” question that has become common place.

Although you’re best served by avoiding well-worn clichés like lamenting your “perfectionism” or castigating your silly habit of “being too-focused on work,” you should not attempt to creatively answer this question without some forethought.

Before your interview make sure to come up with a pre-fabricated response to this question. Remember to be honest, but also to emphasize how you have attempted or successfully overcome your weakness in the past.

Prepare a PAR Anecdote

PAR is used to refer to a style of short-form storytelling that begins by identifying a problem, describes the actions that you took to solve that problem, and then ends with the results that occurred in relation to your actions.

The benefit of this formula is that that you can adapt it to a variety of interview questions, which can help keep you from going off on unhelpful tangents. Just keep in mind that this formula is a guideline. As important as it is to avoid sharing a far-too-intimate moment with your interviewer, it’s equivalently off-putting to appear overly robotic in your responses.

You’re going to do great with a little bit of preparation and practice. And if you’re still on the hunt and trying to land that interview, don’t hesitate to contact us today to see if we have a match for you.

For more helpful articles like this one to help you land your next IT position visit our Guide to Finding the Perfect Tech Job.