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Business English: Job Interview No's

Appearing to Be Someone Who Does Not Want the Job

Many job-seekers do not realize that a percentage of the competition includes people who do not actually want the job. You want to be aware of this so that you do not seem, unintentionally, to be one of these people. Here are some reasons people may apply without wanting a job:

1. Returning to the Job Search Process. Everyone knows that interviewing takes skill. Someone who is returning to the interview process after not having a job or having only one job for many years will try to practice as often as possible in preparation for that "perfect" job. Such people will try hard to win the current job.

2. Unable to Find Work in Desired Field. Of course there are times when someone cannot find the desired job. Such a person may be over-qualified or trying to use interchangeable skills to get the position. An employer may still accept this candidate only if the employer believes the candidate has much to offer and will choose to stay in the new position for a fair amount of time.

3. The Job is Perfect, but the Work Environment is Not. Some people do well in small companies and others do well at large companies. Few people do well at both. People who work well at small companies can get work done quickly and on their own, but they may be impatient with bureaucracy. People who work well at large companies tend to desire process and may be discontent with a less organized small company.

4. Everything is Great, Except the Interviewer. Sometimes there is a simple personality clash between the interviewer and interviewee. Some people think this is reasonable and may not prevent the job offer. However, any experienced interviewer knows that there are many "fish in the sea," and it is better to run the job ad a second time than work with someone with whom there is a clash.

Be Someone Who Wants the Job

If you have an interview and you sense that something is wrong, ask yourself if you may appear to be one of the above. If so, find a way to clearly fix this misunderstanding. Have detailed reasons as to why you want this particular job. The more details you have, the less you are likely to appear as number 1 or 2. If you are changing work environments, have examples of past experiences showing that you will enjoy the workplace. Be ready to "paint a picture" of a previous workplace (or university teamwork environment) that is similar to the current job position. If you sense a rift with the interviewer, try asking questions to find out what the person wants. Make sure the expression on your face is calm and pleasant.

Go to Interview Questions or Internal Interview Questions.

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