The next time you find yourself in the interview stage of a job search, you could be sending mixed messages to your interviewers without even knowing it.

As an NNP interviewing at a new facility, you will be meeting with different people at various stages of this process. At the end of the interview process (resume review, phone interview, in-person interview), your interviewers will meet together to discuss your candidacy. Unfortunately, before this meeting ever takes place, many candidates make a critical mistake that ultimately can cost them a job offer.

The good news? Avoiding the split personality interview is simple — if you know how.

1. Understand that you’re not going in for just one interview

During the in-person interview, you’ll likely meet with a series of personnel who will assess your candidacy. This is where many NNPs make their first mistake, they view the whole experience as ONE interview.

The truth?

This is actually a series of separate interviews, and they all factor into whether or not you’ll be offered the position.

2. Send clear signals to the interview panel

Throughout the stages of the interview process, it’s natural to be unsure if you even want the position. After all, you’re still gathering enough information to make a final determination. Isn’t this what you were taught to do in critical thinking classes?

But, many NNPs allow their exploration process to be painfully evident to the interview panel. While you’re making up your mind about the job, you risk appearing indifferent to your interviewers. If you ultimately decide the position is a perfect fit after learning more about the opportunity and facility, and this new excitement is evident in your latter interviews, you will finish on a high note, hopefully awaiting an employment offer.

However, if during the preliminary interviews you did not project an image that was nearly as confident or interested, you’ve presented two different candidates to your interviewers.

This is what we call ‘blowing hot and cold’ to the panel, and if you’ve done this even a little bit, you’ve successfully confused them. Because all of your interviewers compare notes post-interview, the fact that you were reserved in one interview and eager in the next presents you as a ‘split personality’, leaving your interviewers concerned.

3. Stay consistent during the entire interview process

If it wasn’t clear enough already, avoid the split-personality interview at all costs! Go into each and every interview and interaction with a new facility as if the position you are pursuing is your dream job. It may feel illogical, but think of it this way: it doesn’t matter if this is your dream job or not, at the end of the day it is better to get an offer and have the opportunity to pass on it than it is to miss out on an offer altogether because you were unsure at the beginning.

In short, it’s easier to turn down a job that you do not want than to accept one that has never been offered.