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5 Interview Mistakes Even Smart People Make – Life Reimagined At Work

My latest job search piece for Life Reimagined At Work tackles the job interview and offers advice to correct 5 interview mistakes even smart people make:

A job interview is seldom fun, but you know you’ve got to do it. So you write your two-minute pitch and your record of achievements then hope for the best. Actually, that’s just the beginning of what you should do to prepare. Make sure to check off these 5 rules, which are overlooked by even the smartest job seekers:

Put anchor text in your resume

More and more recruiters are reviewing resumes electronically. Furthermore, interviewers are often confirmed on the schedule last-minute, and your electronic resume is attached to the Outlook appointment. The interviewer only has a cursory look at your resume, so make it easy for them to get to know you. Put anchor text (the clickable text that links to a website) in your resume where you want to provide more information that the interviewer might otherwise need to search for. For example, maybe you worked for a company that is not well-known but is an innovator in its field. Yes, a text resume should have a brief description of the company, but using the company name as anchor text leading to its website gives the reader an invitation to click and find out more. Additional items to list as anchor text include: publications for which you have written; conferences where you have spoken (have the text link directly to the speaker page showcasing you); or samples of your work (e.g., link to a website that you built or a marketing campaign that you led).

Prepare examples, not answers

The temptation is to rehearse answers to specific questions: What is your biggest weakness? What is your greatest accomplishment? Why should I hire you? That’s not a bad strategy because these are standard questions, but this approach breaks down when you consider how many ways there are to ask a question. Your biggest weakness may not be asked outright. The interviewer might ask what your boss would say it is, or s/he might ask about a project where something went wrong (indirectly trying to ferret out a weakness) or ask why you left a certain company (even more indirectly probing for problem areas). You can’t possibly rehearse for every question you might get, so set your examples in advance, rather than specific answers….

Read more about preparing examples and 3 more tips in Life Reimagined At Work: 5 Interview Mistakes Even Smart People Make