how to tell if your candidates are ambitious


The big day is here: It’s time for you to interview with a job you’re excited about. Everything about the job sounds like a perfect fit for you, which makes the pre-interview butterflies extra fluttery in the pit of your stomach. 

The time comes and you walk in. You’re nervous about making a mistake. It’s almost all you can think about, which makes it more likely that you will make a mistake. 

Here are three of the worst mistakes you might make that are hard to avoid, and what you can do to regain your footing. 

  • Poor body language. Some people automatically withdraw into themselves when they’re nervous. They hunch their shoulders inward, have bad posture and a shrunken appearance. They might not hold eye contact with the interviewer, appearing both nervous and unsure of themselves. Having a little anxiety or nervousness is understandable, but closing yourself off from the conversation, trying to appear small and shrinking, screams a lack of confidence. It gives the impression that you don’t want to be there, that you’re afraid of the conversation and that you aren’t right for the job. To correct this, take a deep breath before going into the interview. Give yourself a little pep talk: You have the right to be here and you wouldn’t have been called for an interview if the hiring manager didn’t think you were a good fit for the position. Try to sit up straight, keep your posture open and confident (even if you don’t fully feel it!) and be sure to maintain friendly eye contact during the interview. 
  • Lack of preparation. Walking into an interview with too much confidence can spoil the conversation. Strutting in like they’d be lucky to have you sets a bad tone. Failing to prepare for the interview — going in without reviewing the job description, the company’s website, even failing to prepare a few questions about the company — will project loudly that you didn’t care enough to spend time before going to the interview. A lack of preparation can come across as arrogance even if it really comes down to a lack of time to prepare. Worse, it can come off as a waste of your interviewer’s time, especially if they’re very busy and couldn’t do important work that day because they had to meet with someone who didn’t seem like they wanted to be there. To fix this problem, take even a few minutes to scroll through the company’s website and social media channels before the interview and think up a few questions in advance. They can be kind of general questions about the company and the position for which you’re applying, but try to put some time, effort and thought into it. 
  • Failing to back up your claims. Every person interviewing for a job will say they’re a great fit for the company, that they believe they’d be a great asset and addition to the team. But simply saying the words doesn’t make as strong of an impression. The words can ring hollow if the hiring manager has heard them repeatedly in the same day. Instead, be prepared with specific examples of what you bring to the table: What have you done to help your team? What changes did you implement that improved efficiency? What contributions did you make to improve your team morale or the company’s culture? When did you take initiative and help solve a problem? Think about your work and be prepared to provide examples of what you’ve done in the past to help set the tone for what your future could look like with this company. 

Interviews are stressful and it can be so easy to make a misstep. If you find yourself faltering or making an embarrassing mistake, take a moment, and a deep breath, and start your answer again. Be honest with the interviewer in a succinct way and try to recover. 

If your job search isn’t going the way you’d like, call Davis Staffing. We have great company partners who are looking for someone with your skill and background, and sometimes a little practice interviewing with new people can help build your confidence. Call Davis Staffing today and let’s get working on your next career!