5 Interview Mistakes Workplace Leaders Must Avoid

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on March 21, 2017

You’re likely familiar with the expression “failing to plan is planning to fail.” But what you might not have known is the author of this quote was referring to facilities management (FM) candidates who head into an interview for a workplace leader position unprepared.

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FMs need to make sure they are fully prepared before a job interviewOkay, so that last part isn’t entirely true, but what is true is that preparation is key to nailing an FM job interview. Because the role of workplace leaders requires quick thinking and on-the-spot problem solving, hiring managers are more inclined to pass on a candidate who appears unprepared.

And even if you’re confident you’re 100 percent ready for your interview, there are a few mistakes candidates commonly make that can ruin your opportunity with a great employer.

Prepare to look prepared by learning these five common interview mistakes workplace leaders must avoid.

Mistake #1: Not Demonstrating an Understanding of the Industry

While your field may be facilities management, your job as workplace leader will require you to know the ins and outs of not only the company as a whole but also the industry in which it operates.

Study up on the history of the organization as well as industry trends to prove you understand this facet of the position. If you can throw in a lesser known fact about the company or refer to a recent update in the industry during the conversation, it will give you bonus points with the interviewer.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions in your interviewMistake #2: Not Asking Questions

You may be the interviewee but you will assuredly be asked if you have any questions of your own. When asked, make sure you have a list of FM questions that highlight your critical thinking skills and understanding of the job.

If for some reason the hiring manager doesn’t inquire if you have any questions, take the initiative and let them know you do. It shows you’re proactive and willing to take the lead.

Mistake #3: Overselling Your Experience

It should go without saying that honesty is always the best policy in any interview. While you want to make sure you’re thoroughly explaining how your relevant experience has prepared you for the challenging role of workplace leader, you also don’t want to oversell your accomplishments or embellish your skills.

Try to strike the balance of playing to your strengths, while also accurately representing yourself.

Mistake #4: Not Showcasing Your Tech-savviness

Executives aren’t interested in hiring workplace leaders who can’t move their organization forward. Your interview is not the time to be modest about your experience and knowledge of workplace technology and digital workplace trends.

Don’t be afraid to showcase what you know and share how technology would play a role in your plans.

Mistake #5: Not Focusing on the Big Picture

Other than your ability to handle the day-to-day objectives of a workplace leader, the hiring manager is probably most interested in how your role can impact the company on a larger scale.

Make it evident to them you understand the role effective FM plays in both short- and long-term business objectives—such as workforce productivity, team collaboration and budgeting.

Finally, keep in mind the position you are interviewing for is a leadership role. So don’t forget to act like a leader. Display your confidence and prove to the organization they’d be crazy to hire anyone else.

Want more interview tips? Download our free eBook, The Facility Leader’s Guide to Landing an Awesome Job.


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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