Don’t Let Your Mouth Be Your Downfall

Diarrhea of the mouth:  Most, if not all, of us have been there. The thing you’re so focused on NOT saying will, inevitably, fall right out when you least want it to.

There are times when a little slip-up won’t negatively affect you, yet provides funny stories for your co-workers or family members to tell. Take this writer, for example. I have the bad habit of usually saying whatever pops into my head without giving much thought as to how it sounds out loud. Usually, I can control this unfortunate trait when it matters: in job interviews, for instance. Unfortunately, a new survey reveals that not everyone has that ability.

Nearly one-third (32%) of chief financial officers who were polled said job candidates are more likely to make mistakes during the interview than at any other time during the application process. A close runner-up was mistakes (intentional ones) with the resume, at 28%. Of course, if the resume has already failed, chances are there is no interview, so the interview blunder tends to carry more weight.

You’re going to be nervous in a job interview. There is a lot of pressure to remember all kinds of details about yourself and your professional work, with the added load of knowing just how much that new job would mean to you and your family.

Employers expect that pressure. They usually want to see how you handle a tense or pressure-filled situation, as you might be facing situations like that if you are offered the job.

Here are five tips from Accountemps, a staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance, to help you get your interview back on track if you happen to mess up.

  • Let it go: By dwelling on it, you draw more attention to the mistake. Focus on putting your best foot forward during the remainder of the meeting.
  • Pause: Collect yourself and remember that everyone makes mistakes. Your ability to recover might pay off and impress the employer.
  • Listen: The type of interview questions the employer asks gives you insight into what he or she is looking for in the ideal candidate.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions: You may think the mistake just cost you the job, but the hiring manager may not feel the same way. You are likely the harshest critic of your own performance.
  • Follow up: Send a thank-you not to the hiring manager after the interview. Aside from being a nice gesture, it’s another opportunity to clarify your responses and make your case to be hired.