There are so many ways to make a mistake in a job interview. Everyone, even the most confident person, ends up walking into them feeling fraught with tension. It’s hard not to think that any misstep might cost you an opportunity!
But sometimes, perhaps, we’re so focused on keeping so many little things together that we fail to see the one big thing staring us straight in the face. We spend so much time trying not to overstep, offend, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, that we might be making ourselves… forgettable.
You might get lucky and, in spite of trying so hard to be appropriate and error-free, really impress your interviewer. But it is also possible that your careful demeanor and control will backfire and the interviewer won’t remember anything about your interview. Congrats! You were neither great nor terrible. But that cost you the job.
Stop focusing so much on being “correct” and try to project how right you are for the company and the job. Even if you give an unexpected answer and your heart starts sinking as your interviewer notes your answer with a frown… don’t despair! That answer might break through the tedium and stay with her while she makes her decisions. That one unexpected answer might just set you apart from the rest of the field.
The most important piece of advice is to be yourself. Don’t obscure your personality. Apart from anything, this is a good way to make sure you never end up at a company whose culture is not compatible with your style. But it’s also a great indicator of the kind of employee you would be.
If you’re the right fit, that will shine through. And you won’t number among the forgettable… and forgotten applicants.