Have you ever walked out of a job interview knowing you just blew it? Everyone has probably had that feeling at one time or another.
Lots of potential employees go into interviews and make major mistakes that kill any chance they have of getting hired. Most of these mistakes are avoidable.
Here are 5 interview mistakes to avoid the next time you’re up for a position.
Mistake #1- Lying during your interview.
Nowadays it’s really easy to check up on potential employees. Most of us have email, pages on social networks, and past jobs that have websites. So if you decide to chance it and lie about your work history, exaggerate your responsibilities, or tweak your job description, just remember access to your past is just a mouse click away. With the job market filled with more applicants than positions, employers can afford to be picky and spend more time investigating applicants .
It may be very tempting to spice up your work history or job duties. Just remember: today’s human resource manager is more likely to do a background check to make sure your information checks out.
Mistake #2- Make negative comments about your old job or boss.
Your old boss may have been an ogre and the business was totally disorganized, but few prospective employers want to hire a Negative Nelly. If you decide to rag on your last place of employment you may also find you’re also painting yourself in a bad light. The best answer to why you left your last job or how was your relationship with the boss: ” I learned a lot about ______ from Ms. X. I enjoyed my job and felt I contributed a lot to the company. I’m looking for new opportunities and unfortunately at my last job prospects for growth were limited.”
Mistake #3- Spend too much time asking about salary, hours, and perks.
If you want to know more about the salary, hours, for your position and other job perks, do the research on your own time before you apply for the job. Let the interviewer bring up the subject. During the interview you don’t want to seem too concerned about how much you’ll be making, how much vacation you can expect, or the extra hours you may have to put in. Those types of questions send up red flags to an interviewer. Your potential boss may wonder about your work ethic and motivation if you come in asking about time off before you’ve logged in one hour of work.
Mistake #4- Wearing inappropriate clothing.
Rules regarding business attire has changed a lot in the past few decades. However, for interview purposes you always assume that professional dress is the standard. Men: that means a shirt and tie. Ladies: business attire or dress with appropriate accessories. Let your new boss or supervisor be the one to tell you that the casual look or your nose ring is fine. Don’t assume because it’s a trendy, modern business place or youth-oriented enterprise that any old thing will do. Appearance counts a lot more than you’d imagine or HR people will admit to.
Mistake #5- Exaggerating you qualifications.
Almost everyone is guilty of exaggerating their job description. Remember how on your resume you turned the week you were in charge of closing up the store in your mall job to ” assistant manager in charge of 5 or more employees?” However, when you tweak lie about your qualifications in order to get the interview, there will come a time you’ll have to prove your skills or fitness for the position.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting outed about your qualifications during an interview. I once sat in on an interview committee where a potential hire claimed to be a people person who had great communication skills and love the idea of working collaboratively. A call to her former place of employment beforehand had confirmed a nagging feeling we all had when we noticed there was no recommendation letter from her current supervisor. We learned the applicant was a demanding taskmaster who was transferred by a previous supervisor because she had poor interpersonal skills and had alienated almost all her subordinates . Of course she was dropped from consideration.
There are other pitfalls to avoid during an interview. These 5 are more commonly the major reasons potential applicants don’t get hired.
What are your tips for mistakes to avoid during an interview?