Interviewing
Applying for a Job

Interview Pitfalls

Avoiding these traps can enhance your chances of landing the job

By Michael Packard, PGA

If you are considering a job change or have been positioned to search for employment for an extenuating circumstance, be prepared for a challenge! Many consider the job search process a full-time commitment, requiring you to research, prepare and network your way to the table. Regardless of the method, on the phone or in-person, the interview is a crucial way for an employer to determine whether or not you fit their staffing needs.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid during your next interview:

Mentally Unprepared

One of the most important aspects is to show that you researched the facility and position. The last thing you want is to ask questions lacking any true substance and give the impression you’re simply asking questions because you’re supposed to. At the end of every interview, expect a window of time to showcase your research efforts and switch roles from interviewee to interviewer. Ask them tough and insightful questions!

Overconfidence

In your interview, the employer will expect a level of confidence that reflects your ability to perform effectively. PGA Professionals are the experts in the business and game of golf, and your PGA affiliation is a significant reason why you’re sitting at the table. However, with every new position, there is much to learn. Acting in a manner that indicates your transition will be easy may not be desirable to an employer. A little humility will go a long way in the interview, so focus on the exciting challenges the position will offer.

Physically Unprepared

While many consider this a simple task in the interview preparation, don’t take anything for granted. Looking the part and bringing the necessary materials is a guaranteed par on the opening hole! Bring extra copies of your cover letter, resume and references, in addition to other materials you have prepared. Using limited notes or bullet points is quite acceptable and feel free to write down long or multi-part interview questions, as this clearly demonstrates your attention to detail.

Getting Too Personal

Your primary focus during the interview should be to communicate the ways you plan on adding value to the facility, drawing upon past experience. Be prepared for questions about your personal life and goals; however, make sure your answers are concise and work appropriate. Obviously, you shouldn’t come across as impersonal, but sharing details about personal problems or professional struggles can easily be misconstrued.

Unemotional

It is important to be engaged in the interview process, so focus on being positive and enjoy your time learning more about the facility and the position. The primary goal of the employer in an interview is to learn more about you personally and professionally. Speak clearly and with confidence, and never answer a question just because you think it should be answered that way. You cannot “win” the interview, so stay true to yourself and show your personality.

It is important to be engaged in the interview process, so focus on being positive and enjoy your time learning more about the facility and the position. The primary goal of the employer in an interview is to learn more about you personally and professionally. Speak clearly and with confidence, and never answer a question just because you think it should be answered that way. You cannot “win” the interview, so stay true to yourself and show your personality.

Excess Humor

It is a cliché, but everyone loves a comedian. However, be cognizant of the interviewer’s body language and tone before easing your nervousness with one-liners. You should expect to be nervous at the beginning of an interview and, quite honestly, the employer is counting on it – it means you care! The opening questions are often simple and a way for you to ease into the interview. Avoid early use of dry humor and sarcasm, plus watch out for nervous laughter – it simply doesn’t translate well.

Rambling

There is a good chance you are not the only interview taking place. It is vital to answer every question succinctly, and to simply wait for the next. Talking too much and giving long, weak answers is not going to help, so focus your response on one strong example. Overselling yourself can easily come across as desperation or worse case, selfcenteredness. The best way to prepare for any interview is to research the facility, the position, those conducting the interview and, most importantly, rehearse some answers you expect to deliver. Actually listen to yourself speak. Look at yourself from the interviewer’s perspective and be honest with your impressions of yourself. Thorough preparation and avoiding these pitfalls can help you put your best foot forward in the interview.