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5 common job interview myths debunked

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When it comes to interviewing for a new job, few things in life are as nerve-racking. With your livelihood and next career move on the line, it’s in your best interest to be as prepared as you can. 

In preparing for a job interview, there can be a lot of assumptions made about what you need to say, what questions you will be asked, what you need to wear, etc. While preparation is key to an interview going well, there are some interview myths that, if believed, could set you on the wrong course before you even sit down in the interviewer’s office. 

To help, here are five job interview myths that have been debunked, and how to make a great first impression. 

The interviewer is prepared for you

While you’re knee-deep in preparing for your interview, it’s an unfortunate reality that many interviewers are not expending the same effort in brushing up on your resumé or even preparing personalized questions to ask you.  

Rather, the interviewer is going to be focused on first impressions, much more so than the carefully articulated and detailed answers you have prepared and rehearsed. 

The most qualified person will get the job

One of the biggest myths about the job interview process is that the most qualified candidate will get the job. In many cases, this isn’t true, says the ICS blog. Instead, candidates hired are primarily great fits for the company culture, have realistic pay expectations, and overall are what the company is looking for in terms of personality, skills, and the value they bring.

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Leave your questions to the end of the interview

While there is always an opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview, it’s usually not best to keep them until the end. Instead, asking genuine questions throughout the interview will give the interview a natural, conversational feeling and help the interviewer(s) see you as more of a peer rather than someone detached from their company culture and mission. 

If you need some examples of good questions to ask, The Muse has a great list. Some of them include: 

  • Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?
  • What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
  • What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
  • What’s your favorite part about working here?

Thank-you notes are outdated

Some might say that a hand-written thank you note is a thing of the past. This is not true. A thoughtful, hand-written thank you note or email to the interviewers shortly after the interview is always a nice gesture, even if you don’t end up getting the job. 

According to Robert Half, a recruiting company, only 24% of candidates send a thank you note after an interview, but 80% of recruiters found it either somewhat or very helpful to receive a note after the interview.

Be sure to thank the interviewer for taking an interest in you and for their time. You can also take the opportunity in the note to further address any questions that caught you off guard, or you feel weren’t articulated well. Either way, a thank you note will bring you to the forefront of the interviewer’s mind, and will have them thinking you’re a class act. 

Ask about pay early on so you’re not wasting your time

Yes, the job you’re interviewing for might not work out if the salary isn’t acceptable, but that doesn’t mean you should ask about it right away. Instead, proceed confidently through your interview, assuming the pay will be what you want it to be. Do not make it appear that your primary motivation in wanting to join their team is money. 

Show the interviewer that you’re interested in the job beyond what the pay will be, and you’ll have a better chance at a second interview or a job offer, at which point you’ll be given more power to ask about and negotiate pay. 

If you are looking for a job and are interested in one of Salt Lake City’s most quickly growing companies in the infectious disease diagnostics industry, BioFire Defense is for you. Check out their website today for all their job listings