5 Common Job Interview Myths – And the Truth Behind Them

job interview myths

A job interview is a complicated process that requires a lot of effort for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Many job seekers, freelancers and independent contractors hate this part of the interaction. Many regard the interview as a field for misconceptions and total misunderstanding, leading to many job interview myths. 

There are many myths and beliefs that accompany different aspects of the interview process. This makes the situation even worse for those who will be interviewed for the first time. 

Let’s consider the top 5 most common job interview myths that might prevent you from putting your best self forward.  

1. Myth: The most qualified candidate always gets the job

The first myth, mostly motivated by a lack of self-confidence, is that the most qualified and experienced candidate always gets the position. However, there are numerous reasons why this statement appears not to be true. 

If you focus on qualifications, you often miss such factors as culture fit, salary expectations, and personality traits. These elements are also considered when a company considers a candidate. An interviewee can have the most qualified resume but not have a personality that fits the company, so they aren’t necessarily the best choice.

If you find yourself focusing on your competition, try to apply some positive affirmations like: “I’m being interviewed because I am worthy.” Or “This company is lucky to have me.” You bring more than just your resume to the table.

2. Myth: You need to be ready to work immediately 

Numerous job seekers are afraid of the standard interview question, “When are you ready to start?”. The nature of this fear is straightforward — they don’t know the right answer. This is when the second most-widespread interview myth is born — “All the employers want you to start work immediately.” 

This statement is hardly true. Employers are well familiar with the standard provisions of any employment contract. As they are well informed about the procedures, they pay attention to how you answer this question. If you seem willing to leave your current employer high and dry, it won’t make a favorable impression.

Try not to rush into decisions and answers. It is perfectly acceptable to think over the offer for 48 hours and start working in at least two weeks. 

3. Myth: You need to have all of the right answers prepared ahead of time

We all know common interview questions as we all faced them under various interview conditions. We often provide different answers to these questions, yet we have the same result. Despite the common belief that there are right answers to the questions, there appears to be no guarantee of overall success. 

Don’t answer interview questions with only what you think your interviewer wants to hear. Answer honestly. In most cases, interviewers ask questions to find out how you think and work. A job interview is not a quiz.

For sure, in the case of a technical interview, it is a good idea to read all the best ways to answer technical interview questions to prepare. However, still be genuine and remember to express your attitude and point of view as well as the facts.

4. Myth: You should ask an early salary question

An interview may appear to be a total waste of time if the company might not match your salary expectations. Although it may be tempting, you should resist asking about salary at the beginning of the interview. Many job consultants and coaches recommend not talking about it all during the first interview. 

Talking about salary and benefits when you aren’t sure you have the job can feel awkward. However, waiting until the interviewer will ask you is the best possible plan. You should let them believe that the position and duties are the most important thing to you. Then, when they bring up salary, you can politely ask questions or try to negotiate.

5. Myth: Following up is a sign of desperation

Once the interview is over, there is always a sigh of relief. Indeed, the most challenging part is behind. However, here comes the part that requires patience. According to Glassdoor’s time to hire report, the average time from an interview to a job offer is between 20 and 40 days.

Most job seekers believe that they’ve done everything they need to once the interview ends. Some even believe that following up after may seem desperate or needy.

However, just the opposite is true. Following-up after a job interview demonstrates that you’re interested in the position, excited about joining the company and are invested in the job search process. A well written thank you letter can help you stand out from the other applicants and help you land your dream job.

Don’t let your fear of these myths slow your job search

Differentiating yourself from the crowd of other average job seekers is what you need for a successful job search. Sharing common job interview myths and misconceptions is not the right tactic. Try busting these myths for yourself and adhering to the realities we listed to get your next perfect job offer.

About the Author: Erika is a career and productivity copywriter 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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