It can be very exciting when you get a call from an employer inviting you for a job interview. But that feeling can quickly disappear when you don't get a call for the second interview.
If this happens more than once, you may need to make some adjustments because it might not be "them" -- but you.
If you fail to get a second interview, you need to consider:
- You're making rookie mistakes. By the time you've been invited for an interview, the employer believes you've got most of the necessary hard skills for the job. A first interview is when the employer is looking to see if you've got the necessary interpersonal skills. If you can't hold a professional face-to-face conversation with your interviewer, you're going to be weeded out of the lineup. It's important that you show up on time, dress professionally, speak clearly, make eye contact and avoid nervous fidgeting. Also, never, never, never talk trash about a former employer, boss or colleague. Any interviewer will immediately think you will do the same about her company or personnel, and avoid hiring you.
- You're unprepared. If you don't know the company's leadership team by name, can't identify key competitors or can't give examples of how your abilities will benefit the company, you're going to be passed over for a second interview. You need to do your homework on the company and the industry so that you're able to have a conversation with the interviewer about key topics.
- You're rude. This is not something that you set out to do, but it may happen because you're not prepared. For example, if you don't even say "good morning" to the receptionist, look uninterested when the interviewer is talking about the company or fail to ask any questions to show your interest -- that's rude.
- You're too friendly. "So I was reading your son's Facebook page and I see you guys went to the Poconos on vacation -- did you have a good time?" This is not something that will make an interviewer feel good about you. In fact, she will probably think it's a bit creepy. You want to remain in the professional arena with comments about awards the company has won, or industry events that are scheduled. Stretching into anything personal can make interviewers nervous and eliminate you from job contention.
Getting a second interview isn't easy and takes hard work.
Look at it this way: If you were a golfer or tennis player or even an online gamer, would you enter a big tournament without practicing beforehand? Of course not. You know that it takes discipline, hard work and focus to be successful in these arenas. The same is true of getting a job. In order to avoid elimination, put some real effort into it and you'll find more success.