Didn’t get the job? Here are the top 10 things employers say are deal breakers.

What goes wrong in interviews with great candidates.

Well I’ll tell you. After speaking with 2 recruiters, 3 HR people and 2 CEO’s across the Aviation, Finance and Marketing Industries I narrowed their comments down to 10 things that were clear deal breakers.

Plus I’ve added a few tips to consider and prepare for prior to your next job interview.

ONE: Not researching the company thoroughly.

Google is your best friend, as my Gen Y colleagues say to me on repeat whenever I ask them a question; “Google it Kirsty!” Google everything always and often.

If a candidate attends an interview with me and they don’t know about my business in a lot of detail … See ya later.

TWO: It’s like getting blood out of a stone.

Nobody likes interviews, but every question is an opportunity for you to shine after all being easy to deal with builds rapport. So take that question with both hands and give me everything you’ve got.

Dragging information out of a candidate is exhausting – trust me. It is often obvious that they have great potential and experience but unless they tell us, we cannot assess them.

THREE: They bought no ideas to the table.

Whatever the role, employers hire people who deliver. Deliver solutions and ideas in particular as well as outcomes.  They hire how you think and act, and that makes ideas, lateral thinking and problem resolution some of top skills and attributes they seek.  Think of some specific examples in advance that illustrate how you to achieved these things in the past.

FOUR: Sharing opinions instead of facts.

Evidence baby evidence.  Employers want evidence of your ability and what you can achieve for them. Not opinions, as they say… everyone has one. Stick to the facts and evidence rather than fluffy general answers. 

A good way to self-monitor is if you start a sentence with “I believe” STOP… you are probably about to give your opinion.

FIVE: Being forgettable.

I may have spoken to 2 Sues and 3 Johns today, it becomes a bit of a blur, don’t be a blur.

Take the time to think about what might make you memorable in an entire line up of Sues and Johns. Something unique about you, something nobody else could say.  Not earthshattering just unique. 

SIX:Swearing: even if the ‘F’ word is part of the vernacular nowadays.

The interview might be pretty relaxed, great but neither of you actually know each other, so the ‘F’ word is way too familiar and is therefore – out.  Most roles will require some form of professional communication ability and you can guarantee that you will be assessed on that.

Should it slip into a coaching session, no biggy, my usual response “Don’t F..ing swear at me.” Always gets a laugh – and point made.

SEVEN: You lost me right after “hello”.

Pretty close to question number one is “Tell me about yourself – or career?”

Presenting a diatribe of irrelevant information during that first interaction is snoozeville.

Keep it succinct and keep it relevant.

So no, we probably don’t need to know that you race trail bikes in your spare time and had 2 broken legs in 12 months.  Oh yes, I had that answer recently and all I could think was, wow he probably has quite a bit of down time.

EIGHT: Not understanding the question.

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If you don’t understand the question, please please please do not ask for the question to be repeated. Why? Because you will just get the same information.

The recruitment team are not perfect and can be unintentionally ambiguous. You need to be specific in your response… ‘sorry, are you asking this or is this this?’  Get the right information before you kick off your answer.

NINE: Being blatantly honest, literal and uncensored.

No I am not advocating lying – ever! I am however advocating being strategic in your responses.  People team will only know what you chose to tell them, so select information that supports your ability rather than detracts from it.  How you perceive yourself is not always how others do so why disadvantage yourself. 

If I leave an interview thinking, ‘Why did he/she tell me that?’ then you may have volunteered something that has disadvantaged you.

TEN: Not engaging the team with intelligent, relevant, well thought out questions.

Got none? Sometimes it is hard to find something you don’t already know, particularly as so much information is available on-line. But you need to. 

A couple of places to find great questions are:  Company media releases, industry forums, or try discussing future plans and growth or market influences.

Always ask if there are other avenues for you to contribute within the business or even how to get involved in the community projects supported by the business.

I once Googled Woodside Offshore Petroleum and found they had an ace volleyball team… yep I used to play, so guess what I asked at interview?

Give yourself the best chance of success with a little research, finding facts that illustrate your value and potential and decide on that one sentence, you know the one, that they will remember you for.

With a little preparation a candidate can be ready for everything. 



Direct links to major Corporate Aviation Jobs sites and featured roles open now: https://www.pinstripesolutions.com/other-aviation-jobs/

FEATURE WRITER: Kirsty is a feature contributor to Australian Aviation Magazine, Aeortime.aero and Aviation Job Search.

BLOG: Kirstys’ blog on communication and careers is widely read by over 22,000 first connection members on LinkedIn, Facebook and www.pinstripesolutions.com

BOOK: Kirstys’ first book “The Albino Chameleon – Building The Story of You” will be available in November 2019. 



SPEAKER: Kirsty has lectured at Sydney University and Griffith University and at the Emerging Leaders Forum for Women In Aviation on careers, communication, aviation and self-confidence.

PODCASTS: You can listen to Kirsty on the iTunes favourite “Go All In” podcast and “Australian Aviation Radio”.

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