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Job interview myths

The big interview is just moments away and you are ready. Your resume is in hand, research about the company is done, and you feel confident.

However, one common mistake many make is assuming the person conducting the interview actually knows who you are and what you are interviewing for. 

A recent Forbes magazine report reveals a Top 10 list of "interview myths." Dr. Rick Browne, director of career services at Xavier University, says the list is pretty accurate.

Myth One: The interviewer is prepared.

Myth Two: The interviewer asks good questions.

"There are certainly many people out there that really don't know how to ask really good interview questions," says Browne.

Most of the time, he says they will stick to the basics and ask the most common question: "Tell me about yourself."

Myth Three: They want you to accept their offer of refreshment.    

Browne somewhat agrees. He says don't make it complicated and you'll be fine.

Myth Four:  The interviewer wants additional materials, more references that sell you as the right fit. Wrong again -- don't force it, but present it if they ask for it.

Myth Five: There is a right answer to the question.

Browne suggests not to make the response objective, but to sell yourself. "Give the interviewer a sense of how you would do the job, what would you look like in that particular role," he says.  "If they like it, great. If not there are other fish in the sea."

Myth Six: Keep your answers short.

Myth Seven: Hiring managers value skills over physical attractiveness.

"I think that one is easy to overstate, but there is definitely some truth in there," says Browne.

Myth Eight: When they ask where you want to be in five years, they want you to demonstrate ambition.

Myth Nine: If you're invited to an interview, the job is still open.

Once again, Browne says that is true more often than not. Sometimes interviewers are just going through the motions to cover all the bases during the hiring process.

"That's very much an unfortunate truth," says Browne.  "In all sorts of HR laws of fair hiring practices, companies and organizations have to do searches for many positions. They may have somebody that's already been picked, but they have to go through some of the motions."

Myth Ten: The most qualified person gets the job.

Browne not only deals with students at Xavier but also post-graduate adults helping them get a jumpstart to their careers. He says one piece of advice he gives is to always conduct your personal life professionally until it's a done deal.

"You have to kind of have the idea that from the time they ask me for the interview to the time they give me feedback whether I got the job or not, I'm being interviewed that whole time," says Browne. "I need to conduct myself professionally that whole time."

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