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Most popular job interview myths

Article by Erika Rykun

There are tons of myths floating around concerning hiring and interviewing processes. Candidates tend to share impressions, spread rumours, and support them as interviewing seems a black box. A quick Google search would result in dozens of such myths and misconceptions.

A tricky thing here is that everyone has an opinion. Quite often, it is not an objective one. Thus, sharing these opinions is not the best idea, especially with young inexperienced candidates. Unfortunately, their perspective gets skewed, and the interviewing process gets even more stressful. Here is the list of the bogus interview myths and some of the realities behind them.

Myth 1: There’s no way to prepare for an interview:
Unfortunately, many candidates strongly believe that an interview is a unique procedure and there is no way to prepare appropriately. People think an interview has its natural flow, and there are no right answers to the questions.

Reality
The situation is quite the opposite in reality. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Preparation for an interview is an essential and complicated process. It takes a lot more than Googling the best answers to common interview questions. Careful research and examination of the requirements, considering possible answers, and practicing voice and tone are among the interviewing prep checklist’s top items.

Myth 2: List your strengths whenever you can:
Almost all candidates imagine themselves answering the dreaded ‘what are your strengths?’ question well before the interview. The majority believes that this question is an excellent opportunity to win a hiring manager or a recruiter’s heart. Furthermore, they also think you need to provide strengths whenever it is possible.

Reality
Be careful while talking about your strengths. Listing them as facts without any practical experience and evidence may be a disaster. It is much better to provide specific examples that illustrate your strengths and approach to problem-solving. The interviewers are interested in how you address problems, not how you describe yourself.

Myth 3: You can never be late:
We all know for sure ‘better late than never.’ However, this saying seems not to be working when it comes to being late for an interview. The majority of the candidates believe that there is no proper way to an interview when you are late. Thus it is better to turn around and go back home.

Reality
The truth is that you should never be late without an explanation, but you can be late. Nobody in their right mind would try to relate whether you were punctual or not on a single occasion. Show respect for your interviewer`s time and your interest in the position. Provide notice as soon as you know you are running behind schedule.

Myth 4: You must always dress to impress:
A first impression can make or break a business opportunity or relationship. People usually understand the appearance under this first impression. Appearance appears to be the first reference for people. Therefore, a whole bunch of tips exists on how to dress to ace the interview.

Reality
This statement is not entirely true, especially in the 21st century. Increasing corporate culture is becoming more laid-back dress-code-wise. Hoodie is no longer regarded as an untidy and clumsy outfit. Moreover, it is an outfit of a person who values comfort and practical things. The only advice relevant in this case — know your audience.

Myth 5: They are looking for the perfect candidate:
The most wide-spread myth related to interviewing is that hiring managers or recruiters are always searching for a ‘perfect candidate.’ However, have you ever seen this mysterious creature? Is there some evidence of its existence?

Reality
Undoubtedly, the answer is no to both questions. The truth is simple — there is no perfect candidate. Furthermore, no one ever thought of searching for this person. Keep in mind, recruiters are looking for a reasonably competent candidate with the right mindset, and that is all.

Myth 6: “Tell me about yourself” question is irrelevant:
The “Tell me about yourself” question belongs to the set of tricky questions. It is quite difficult to provide full information about yourself under stressful conditions of an interview and within a taught time limit. Thus, many people believe it is impossible to give an adequate answer.

Reality
This question is tricky indeed. Answering it, you say too much or too little. You forget crucial information about your professional background while including a bunch of useless details. At the same time, the recruiters ask this question to see how you react to a question without structure and get a feel for your skills.

Myth 7: High grades guarantee a good job:
College graduates who managed to achieve high scores and excellent grades are to blame for this myth’s existence. The truth is their excellence costs them too much time and effort, so there remains nothing but strong hope that it will guarantee them a good position.

Reality
Believe it or not, but excellent grades have nothing to do with a good job. Above all, a candidate should be able to sell his competencies and skills, despite the level of their excellence.

Differentiating yourself from the crowd of the average job seekers is the essence of a successful interview. This differentiation gets impossible if you believe in common myths and share doubtful beliefs. How many points mentioned above did you believe true? Hopefully, you feel a bit revealed and more confident after reading this article.

    Erika Rykun is a career and productivity writer who believes in the power of networking. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing with her cat, Cola. Find her at WikiJob.

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