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5 Things You’re Doing that Might Cost You a Job Offer

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The tech landscape in 2024 is more competitive than ever. Companies of all sizes are opting for leaner workforces, while also facing an intense battle for talent that is driving salaries up and intensifying the interview process on both sides of the table. 

The situation is compounded by the ongoing effect of layoffs across the sector. According to Carta, a wave of layoffs and job departures that peaked in early 2023 has contributed to workforce contraction. 

According to its State of Startup Compensation report, there were 267,181 new hires in 2023––roughly half of the figures for 2022 and 2021––and 18,000 employees were laid off in January alone. The live tracker reveals that in 2024 alone, there have been an estimated 90,000 layoffs from tech companies worldwide. 

3 positions in tech hiring now

Positions are at a premium, with Indeed’s Hiring Lab Data showing that available positions in the U.S. have been declining steadily since reaching a high in 2022, including a 12% drop from May 2023. 

If you are actively seeking a new role now, added competition means that you should be acutely aware of every opportunity that will help to make you the successful candidate for that dream role. 

When it comes to interviewing, some candidates are naturals, while others find it an incredibly challenging medium. With that in mind, here are some of the most avoidable slip-ups that could end up costing you the position. 

1. Not being on time

This is a no-brainer, but it happens. If the interview is in person, plan on getting there well in advance, so that unexpected challenges (traffic, public transport, freak occurrences, you never know) don’t get in the way of striding into that lobby at the exact prescribed moment. 

Additionally, a good portion of interviews are conducted online now, so do not allow tech hiccups to keep the interview panel waiting. Test your connection and ensure you have full access to the relevant platform so you’re all set to join the meeting the moment the host activates it. Finally, deactivate automatic updates for now. 

2. Don’t tell lies

If you do decide to play up a certain element of a previous role, make sure it’s not going to come back to bite you. 

Never imply that you have a skill set if it’s not true, and definitely don’t claim that any role you had in the past had more seniority than it did. If you make this mistake, two things will happen: the interviewers will sense that something is up, or they will discover your deception if and when they follow up on your references.

3. Be unprepared

If you are certain you’re a strong candidate for a position, that will shine through in the interview. But don’t mistake qualification for clairvoyance. There is the natural expectation that you’ll have done your research on the company and relevant topics beforehand. If you fail to demonstrate this, it’s a significant red flag. 

4. Not looking the part

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, as the saying goes. There is no harm in enquiring with the hiring manager about the company dress code (it may even boost your credibility) to ensure you meet or exceed the expectations. Avoid looking unkempt and don’t show up having made minimum effort. It’s disrespectful and it will show you to be lacking in drive. 

5. Poor body language

Watch your body language: This may be the hardest pitfall to avoid as it’s something that can occur subconsciously, regardless of what preparation you put in. 

Avoid shifting in your chair too much, keep your hand movements relevant, maintain eye contact, drive the conversation and do your best to put out positive energy. If something is off in your manner and they sense you may not be a good fit, all the experience in the world won’t help you. 

Ready to interview? Start your job search today on the nextpit Job Board. This article was written by Doug Whelan.

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