Job Guide USA :: INTERVIEW MISTAKES TO AVOID

INTERVIEW MISTAKES TO AVOID

Searching for a job is one of the most stressful things we can do. In fact, looking for a new job is a full-time job in and of itself sometimes. When you get that call that makes your heart skip a beat with joy, don’t relax just yet. Now the real work begins: you have to get them to offer you the job! If you want to nail your interview, avoid every single thing on this list. Here we go!

30. SHOWING UP LATE OR TOO EARLY.
If you can’t show up on time to your interview, how are they going to trust you to show up on time to work? When you arrive late, it means you don’t respect the hiring manager’s time. When you show up earlier than ten minutes prior to your interview, you may make the hiring manager feel pressure to finish what they are currently doing. If you are really early to your interview, wait in your car or grab a cup of coffee to kill time.

29. BEING ON YOUR PHONE.
Whatever you do, your priority is being in front of the interviewer interviewing for this job. You should not have your phone out so you can update your status on Facebook or take a personal call. Your phone will still be there, I promise.

28. DRESSING INAPPROPRIATELY.
While there is such a thing as being overdressed, it’s never as bad as being underdressed. You’re not going to want to interview for a job wearing a mini skirt, eight inch heels, and a tube top, or arrive in sweatpants and a shirt with holes in it. There are some jobs out there that don’t require you to wear a suit, but at the very least, you should choose something that is business casual.

27. ASKING NO QUESTIONS AT ALL.
Regardless if this is your dream job, you should always have at least one question. An interview is a two-way street: You are being interviewed to see if you will be a good fit for the job and the company, and you should be interviewing the employer to see if they’ll be a good fit for you, too.

 

26. LYING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Under no circumstance should you ever lie about your work experience. If it is discovered that you lied about your education or past employers, you won’t get the job.

25. DISSING PAST EMPLOYERS.
A hiring manager is not interested in hearing about drama or what-have-you, nor do they want to hear negative things about your current or former work place. It’s ok to vent, but do so with a friend, spouse, or relative.

24. USING BIG WORDS INCORRECTLY (OR MISPRONOUNCING WORDS).
It just sounds weird when you say “supposably” because it’s not a word.

23. YOU DIDN’T RESEARCH THE COMPANY.
Every company has a back story and most companies have a website. Spend time researching them so you are prepared to answer when they ask you, “So, what do you know about our company?” A shrug doesn’t look good.

22. INTERRUPTING THE INTERVIEWER.
Just don’t do it. Ever.

21. WEARING TOO MUCH MAKEUP OR TOO MUCH PERFUME.
The natural look is in these days, so if you are going to wear makeup you’ll want to stick to the lighter side of the spectrum. Showing up looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey Showjust looks…er, weird. If you choose to wear perfume, keep in mind that a little bit goes a very long way. A lot of people have sensitivities to scents, so it’s best to be cautious and maybe opt to put some on after your interview.

 

20. ACTING LIKE YOU HAVE BETTER PLACES TO BE.
The most important place for you to be in that very moment is in the chair in front of the hiring manager. Period.

19. ASKING HOW MUCH THEY’RE GOING TO PAY YOU.
If they are interested in you and think you are the best fit, they will talk salary with you. Don’t bring it up on your own volition.

18. BRINGING YOUR OWN CUP OF COFFEE.
Just like when you are on the bus, no food or drink is allowed. Drink up before or after the interview, unless they offer you a cup during. Then go for it!

17. GIVING TOO STRONG OR TOO WEAK OF A HANDSHAKE.
Don’t crush your interviewer’s hand or give the limp fish when shaking hands. Be firm, but polite.

16. FALLING ASLEEP OR YAWNING.
Don’t disrespect your hiring manager by falling asleep or yawning during the interview. It looks so bad, and gives the impression that you are bored with the entire process – whether you are or not.

15. NOT MAKING EYE CONTACT.
Obviously, you don’t want to stare at them like you are going to become their stalker, but making eye contact is important as it conveys a level of respect that you have for the interviewer. When you don’t make eye contact, it lends instant nervousness and may make the interviewer think you are uncomfortable with them or lying/hiding about something.

14. HAVING A BAD ATTITUDE.
You may be the most qualified person for the job, but if you have a negative attitude that goes along with that stellar resume, you won’t get the job offer. People like to work with people who have positive attitudes. Regardless of what is going on in your life, check your attitude at the door.

13.  BEING A BAD LISTENER.
It’s important to be listening to what your interviewer is saying. Allow him or her to finish the question and then answer. Don’t cut them off or give an answer that is not related to the question.

12. BEING OVERLY CONFIDENT.
It’s ok to have confidence in yourself, but it’s a red flag if you are overly confident. Approaching the interview with an attitude that says, “Why is this interview necessary when I am clearly well-qualified for this job” will hurt your chances and get you eliminated from the hiring pool immediately.

11. BEING RUDE TO THE RECEPTIONIST.
When you show up for an interview, you aren’t just interviewing with the hiring manager. Oftentimes, the interviewer will ask the receptionist what they think of you. If you cop an attitude with the receptionist, you might as well not hold your breath waiting for that job offer.

10. ASKING WHAT POSITION YOU ARE INTERVIEWING FOR.
If you have to ask, you shouldn’t be there. Period. You should know what job you are interviewing for and furthermore, it shows a complete lack of interest and preparation.

9. SAYING YOU DON’T KNOW WHICH CAREER PATH YOU SHOULD TAKE.
This makes you look lost and confused, and your interviewer is second-guessing why you are here in the first place.

8. TALKING TOO MUCH.
It’s easy to get nervous and start talking too much. It happens to a lot of people. The trick is to not keep talking – you don’t need to share with the hiring manager about your time in Morocco with the Peace Corps unless it relates directly to a question asked or the position you applied for.

7. SWEARING.
This is a professional discussion between interviewer and interviewee – not a social happy hour with friends. Swearing in an interview is taboo, and just because the hiring manager swears does not mean that is an invitation for you to do so as well.

6. POOR HYGIENE
If you show up to an interview smelling so bad that a herd of dairy cows would be exponentially more attractive in the smell department, something is very wrong. Make sure your hygiene is in check.

5. CHEWING GUM. 
Yes, fresh and clean breath is the best. But chewing gum during your interview is unprofessional.

4. HAVING AN UNPROFESSIONAL PRESENCE IN SOCIAL MEDIA.
A lot of employers look up potential candidates on social media sites like Facebook prior to deciding whether they should interview you or not. If your profile picture is of you passed out with a drink in your hand, you probably won’t be invited to an interview.

3. TALKING ABOUT OTHER JOB OPPORTUNITIES.
Just because you interviewed for another position with a different company that you hope you get doesn’t mean you should tell the hiring manager that. Consider yourself eliminated from the candidate pool.

2. NOT TAKING NOTES.
Other than showing a complete lack of care, not taking notes shows two things: that you are too good to take notes, or you are not interested. Both are equally bad. Even though we know you are well-prepared for your interview, you still want to take notes showing your enthusiasm to potentially have this job.

1.  BEING UNABLE TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS. 
It’s easy to get nervous and fumble, but when they ask you a question you should be able to answer it. Prepare yourself for the interview – have a friend “interview” you so you can get your “umms” and “uhhhs” out of the way before the big day.