How To Spectacularly Blow Up Your Interview Before It Even Gets Started

Some job seekers have a unique talent for self-sabotage. They snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This quality is repeatedly demonstrated during the interview. Smart, well-trained employees tend to do stupid things and are quickly thrown out of the competition.

Here’s how job seekers blow themselves out of the water before being offered an interview.

Submit your resume from multiple sources

Job seekers have a bad habit of submitting multiple resumes through different sources for the same job. The person submits a resume and fills out the online application.

After a day or so there is no response from the company. Meanwhile, a recruiter contacts the person and excitedly shares the job description for the position you recently applied for. Instead of answering honestly, “Thanks, but I’ve already shared my CV with the company,” they admit ignorance. “I appreciate you thinking of me for the job. It sounds like a great opportunity to take my career to the next level. Please submit my resume!”

The recruiter, believing you have the right background and experience, emails the resume and a report on the candidate to HR and the hiring manager, stating that the candidate is a perfect match for them. Time flies and still no word. The job seeker turns to a friend who knows someone at the target company and asks them to forward the resume without mentioning that it was sent multiple times.

Once resumes have gone through applicant tracking systems and made their way to HR, confusion reigns as to why there are so many submissions. The internal talent acquisition person can ask what happened. The applicant is placed in an awkward position. They were clearly trying to play the system and pit everyone against each other. Usually, the candidate will start by saying, “Sorry, I didn’t realize this was for the same position. When the recruiter called I thought they were talking about another role.”

After some cross-examination, the offended suitor realizes that they have been arrested as the stories don’t ring true. The recruiter, understandably outraged that the candidate acted behind his back, claims that he should be given full credit for the submission and will be owed a finder’s fee if the person is hired.

The result is that the company will go down a hard road as there is too much drama and too many questions at the beginning of the process. You don’t want to get into a fight over whether or not to get paid for the recruiter and whether the in-house employee gets a bonus for the placement. It’s easier to just move on to the next candidate and make a note not to accept future resumes from that person or to be on high alert.

The spray and spray approach

A similarly repellent method of job hunting is the “spray and pray” approach. This is the case when a job seeker spams a company with their resume and applies to 10 different job openings. The rapid-fire resumes are designed to attract attention. The job seeker thinks it is a smart move to play the law of large numbers game. By shooting the resumes at many different positions, they’ll rationalize that maybe one will hit.

It has the opposite effect. The company sees this style negatively. HR will feel that you are disingenuous and couldn’t care less about a particular job. The company prefers to attract people who genuinely want to work for the company in a specific role.

Gets knocked out immediately

Multiple triggers drive recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers insane. When a person exhibits arrogant behavior and speaks condescendingly, that is a turnoff. “As I do X. are you familiar with X (in the meantime, X is exactly what the HR employee has specialized in over the last 20 years)? That’s okay; I’ll explain it like you’re a third grader for the next 30 minutes.” No one wants to expose their staff with an arrogant, self-important moron.

When you’re asked why you’re looking for a job and immediately launch into a bitter, negative diatribe about how awful your boss and co-workers are, pointing out all the bad decisions that have been made, and leaking confidential inside information, that’s it a big deal red flag waving to stop the interview process.

Interviewers expect you to have done your homework and researched at least a little bit about the company, its mission, products, the people you meet, and other facts and figures about the company. If, during a video interview, the candidate appears to be reading from a script tacked to the side of the computer or on their screen and angrily searches Google for answers, it’s all over.

what you should do

It is relatively easy to avoid these pitfalls. Submit your resume for jobs you really want, at companies you’d love to work for. There’s no need to sit up and pretend you’re better than everyone else. Don’t play games by letting recruiters send your resume after you’ve already submitted it as it will not work well.

Always be polite, courteous and professional. Dive deep into the company, the job and its requirements. This will make you feel more confident and there is no need to wing it. Be your true genuine and authentic self. You want the company to hire you for being you, not a false front.

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