6 Ways To Secretly Sabotage Your Job Interview

Do this, not that—and the job you've been chasing could finally be yours.

We know that a job interview is a lot like a date—and like that other courting process, initial excitement can wear off quickly, leaving you feeling like one George Oscar Bluth, Jr.:

But how can you know if you've arrested your career development? LearnVest editor Carrie Sloan has a few ideas:

1: If You're The Last Interview Of The Day

Consciously or not, hiring managers average out their ratings of applicants over the course of the day—so you want to be the first one in.

2: If You Talk Way Too Much

"Talking over your interviewer is the biggest mistake that interview candidates don't realize they're making," career development coach Stacey Hawley tells LearnVest.

Interview jitters cause the un-gift of gab, she says, leading candidates to talk over their interviewers. That nervousness nips any chance of active listening, making for a boring, one-sided conversation—the kind that doesn't lead to the interviewer investing in you.

3: If You Trash Your Old Job

No one wants to hear how much your last job sucked. But if you are going to criticize your last gig, sketch out the organizational roadblocks that led to dysfunction—as we've noted before—rather than carping about how much you hated your boss.

4: If Your Cover Letter Sucks

The cover letter primes the interview. Hawley, the career coach, says that a cover letter should link your stellar work history to the potential gig and show how much you know about the company and how you can enhance it—without, we may add, being a boilerplate career recap or weirdly direct confessional.

5: If You Negotiate Like A Galoot

We tend to get anxious around salary talks when they come up, Hawley says, which can lead us to blurting out our best guess (or hope) of potential pay.

A better play is to let an open-ended inquiry like "What range do you have in mind?" hang in the air and wait for them to answer, she says—and doing your compensation research ahead of time will help, too.

6: If You Don't Follow Up

No matter how qualified you are, the person that hires you is still doing you an act of kindness. To help get you there, Hawley says to follow up with a personal, non-formulaic note or email—another sign of how graciousness is a part of a growing career.

HR Experts Confess: 8 Biggest Interview Mistakes We See

[Image: Flickr user Scott Hendo]

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