Editor’s note: This is an edited version of an article that was originally published by Smith Brain Trust, University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, under the title, “Know the five most common warning signs.”
Planning to look for a new job in 2019? Study the job market; know where you fit and why; get your targeted resume in perfect order; draft that short and value-laden cover letter; and when you get to the interview stage, avoid raising the five most common red flags says Patricia Reich, assistant dean and executive director of the office of career services at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Reich often says job interviews are like business meetings.
Successful applicants show up to the interview meeting on time and ready, demonstrating respect for their interviewers as they would for their colleagues and clients at any business meeting. “That means being prepared,” says Reich.
“This particular business meeting is short. It is time-bounded. For our business students, it’s often 30 minutes, so it’s important to make full use of the entire time by being intentional about what you say and what you do.”
Red flag: You haven’t done your homework.
“It’s really important to think ahead of time about the five most important things the company is looking for. What do they need this hire to accomplish for them?” she says. “Then, relevant to that hiring need, what does the company need to know about you in order to recognize you as the top candidate?”
Reich recommends preparing conversation content, stories that narrate your work history and accomplishments and that address those five needs. It can be tricky to come up with relevant, compelling anecdotes on the spot, so mining out examples of your value ahead of time is a must. No one knows your stories better than you so, so with a little time and concentration, you can put togeth...