There are plenty of blogs out there that tell you what you can and should do in an interview to improve the chances of getting hired. The reality is, knowing what not to do is equally important.
Think about it. Everything you do during an interview is being judged. The way you look, how you carry yourself, what you say – all of those things serve as a sample of what an employer can expect if they choose to hire you.
To really knock that first impression out of the park, here are a few common interview mistakes to avoid.
Showing up late
Running late is not only an inconvenience to your interviewer, but it demonstrates a lack of respect and poor time management skills. Don’t take chances. Prepare well in advance and leave yourself enough time so that even if you hit traffic, miss the train or run into another snag, you’ll still arrive on time.
Not dressing appropriately
The way you dress will make an impression on your interviewer before you even have a chance to introduce yourself, so make sure you look professional and polished. Remember, it’s always better to dress up than down. Even if you’re told in advance to dress casually, you still want to look well put together.
Failing to prepare
Get ready for your interview just as you would a test. Don’t show up unprepared, otherwise you’ll probably fail. Instead, you should research, study and learn as much as you can about the company and the job you’re applying for. This way you’ll be ready to discuss exactly how your skills and background would be the perfect fit.
Appearing bored or uninterested
Many candidates quickly make it to the “do not hire” list by simply giving off vibes to the interviewer that they’re not really interested. To avoid this, you want to make sure you’re plugged in and fully engaged with your interviewer. Demonstrate real interest in the company and the role. Ask intelligent questions that show you’ve done your homework. Don’t yawn and whatever you do, don’t check your phone. Seriously.
Getting too personal
Your interviewer wants to know more about your background, your work experience and what skill set you bring to the table. He or she doesn’t necessarily want to know the names of all of your pets, what your favorite pizza topping is or that you have a sensitive stomach. Be open and honest with your answers to questions, but don’t overshare. Keep your responses succinct, focused and to the point.
Bad mouthing former employers
You may have hated your last boss, but the person interviewing you doesn’t need to know that. In fact, if you spend too much time bashing your former employer, it’ll only paint you in a negative light. If you’re asked a tough question, measure your response to make sure it’s as positive and professional as possible. Remember, it’s a small world. You never know how those words might come back to haunt you.
Dropping the ball
One of the most important steps in the interview process is following up after the fact. Sending a brief thank you note can keep you top of mind and help you stand out amongst other applicants. This is why gathering contact information and asking what the next steps are is so critical. Find out who the best person is to follow up with and when you should reach out. Then, take those next steps accordingly.
The bottom line is, everyone makes mistakes. Knowing what those common blunders are in advance so you can avoid them, however, can dramatically improve your chances of making the cut. If you are in the market for a new job, we are here to help guide you through the interview process. Why not get in touch? We can help you find a position that you’ll truly enjoy.