Interview barriers will prevent you from getting a job offer

 Being invited for an interview is the ticket to a potential employment opportunity, and the way you respond to the interviewer’s questions determine your next steps. Every job candidate knows this, but during the interview, there are three areas that you need to be aware of that could prevent you from getting an offer.

Your awareness of these barriers gives you more confidence in talking about your accomplishments and making a good impression.

Hiring decision-makers all share a common goal in wanting to hire the right candidate. Making the wrong hiring decision costs both time and money to the employer. Therefore, an interviewer has a heightened sense of how candidates answer questions.

Good interviewers consider that you may feel nervous and do their best to ease small talk before diving into challenging questions. The interviewer’s goal is not to make you stumble instead to determine if your skills are an excellent match to their needs.

It sounds relatively simple – you are invited to an interview because the employer is interested in your background and sees a possible hiring opportunity. Yet, more qualified candidates take themselves out of the hiring process by falling into barriers that could have been prevented.

Keep in mind that an interview is a dual conversation with a time limit. You share a common goal with the employer; they need to fill a position with your skill sets, and you want to work for them.

The best tactic to use in overcoming interview these three common barriers is to know your career accomplishments and talk about them as if they were second nature.

Knowing your background and what makes your accomplishments unique from other candidates is the key to being genuine and confident.

Most candidates take their skills and accomplishments for granted. Unfortunately, working long hours and making work your priority will not distinguish you from the next candidate.  Everyone talks about working hard, being dedicated, and being a good team member.

The key that makes you memorable and gives you a boost of enthusiasm is talking about your delivered results. Focus on your accomplishments going back at least 10-12 years or more in your career, highlight the results you produced.

Be aware of these three common interview barriers that will take you out of the offer stage:

  • Starting your answers with, “I think.” For example, “I think my background is a good match for this position” or “I think I can make a difference in your department.” The words “I think” need to be exchanged for “I can” or “I know.” Can you see where one set of words sounds more confident than the other?
  • A lack of listening skills. Not answering the question asked but instead rambling on in hopes of convincing the interviewer that you are indeed answering the question. Rambling takes you and the interviewer down paths of discussion you may want to avoid. The lack of listening abilities on your part during an interview speaks volumes about what you might be like as an employee.
  • Fear of bragging. The lack of credit you give yourself for fear of bragging. Most job seekers are uncomfortable in tooting their own horns and feel as though talking about their accomplishments is on the borderline of bragging. In an interview setting, this is the one place appropriate to talk about your achievements without the fear of bragging. Boasting is bragging, but discussing your accomplishments are more related to stating facts. There is a big difference, especially in attitude.

What are your thoughts about the interview barriers mentioned? 

Kimberly Thompson, M.Ed. is a national board-certified counselor and coach. Send questions to or visit her blog at

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