The 2 biggest job interview mistakes young people make

Wayup CEO and former Google employee Liz Wessel shares the two mistakes people make in job interviews and how to avoid them. Following is a transcript of the video.

Most people don’t realise that they should follow up as soon as possible.

One very big mistake that I’ve seen a lot of young people make, actually I was with a Google HR person recently and she was telling me that this is one of the more common ones that college students make. Most people don’t realise that they should follow up as soon as possible.

So I have this acronym I like to tell people especially college students REAF. It’s research, have enthusiasm, ask questions, and follow up. Very commonly an interviewer is going to write a scorecard. They’re going to write their feedback about the interview pretty soon after the interview is done, and so you should follow up as soon after, like that day if possible, as soon as you can. And I would say don’t wait till the next day because you’re nervous about seeming too desperate. You should be following up and saying “Dear blank, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Here are a few things I learned,” or, “It was really interesting talking to you about X. Here’s a book I suggest based on that.” Whatever it might be, but I can’t say enough, follow up as soon after the interview as you can.

Not asking questions, that’s another really big one. So commonly college students will do either a lot of research and maybe they do no research or maybe they’re just nervous and they don’t think that they need to ask questions. But some companies will even reject you if you just don’t ask questions. Which I know sounds insane and brutal but it’s actually true.

I have many friends whose companies just will flat-out reject you. So why you should ask questions. First of all, it just shows that you actually are interested and that you want to learn but it’s also going to be good for you because you’re going to learn more about whatever you want to learn about. So I’m saying ask questions at the end, but not questions that are similar to “So when do I start?” or “What’s the salary?” I’m talking about questions like “What makes a rockstar a rockstar at your company?”

I like when people ask me things like “How do you spend your day to day?” There’s tons of question that you can really extract a lot of great information about, so I can’t encourage it enough, ask questions because not enough college students do.

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