An interview begins the second you walk into the door. While your answers and questions may send up a red flag for potential employers, there is so much more to a good interview than just words. Below are 5 common, yet easy to avoid mistakes, that can make or break an interview.
1. Timing is Everything
An employer does not want to be waste half an hour waiting for you to show up, just as much as they don’t want to see you camped out in front of your office before they even get there. Getting to an interview too late or too early can hurt your chances in an interview. Getting there too early can show that you are too needy and getting there late can make it seem that you do not value the employer’s time. Ten to 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to show up before an interview. Do your research, find out where you are going the night before, and get there in time!
2. Judge a Book By It’s Handshake
Everyone you meet during your interview can affect the outcome of your future job. A receptionist, a secretary, the boss, they can all make or break your interview. No one wants to work with a mean, unpleasant co-worker, so be pleasant to everyone you meet and be sure to give a firm handshake. A good handshake shows confidence, whereas a limp, weak hand is about as appealing as dead fish in your hand. You got the interview for a reason, now act like it!
3. Dress For The Job You Want
It is important to present yourself professionally during an interview. An interview is not the time to express your individuality, but show that you are willing to work as a team and represent the company well. A man should wear nice pants, button-down shirt, possibly a tie, and gross any facial hair. Women, whether in a pant suit or skirt, need to be sure to have neck lines up and hemlines down. Women also need to be sure not to wear too much make-up or jewelery.
4. The Language of Work
During the interview, your body language and your answers/questions will sell you for the job. A person who mumbles and slouches shows zero confidence. It is important to listen to the questions asked of you and answer them to the best of your ability in order to highlight your strengths. Before the interview even begins, you need to do research on the company so you are well-prepared. Along with answering the interviewer’s questions, it is also important to ask you own questions. Lastly, be sure not to get too personal. You are not interviewing to become a friend, but too became an employee – keep it professional!
5. It’s Not Over Til The Thank You Note is in the Mail
The goal of an interview is to set yourself apart from everyone else. The last, arguably most important, thing you can do is send a thank you note. Not only is it the polite thing do, but it also helps keep your name in the employer’s mind while they are making the final decision. Without a thank you note or some form of follow-up, the employer could be apt to just throw your name out of the ring feeling as though you do not even care enough about the job to continue any interest with it.
Follow these few guidelines, go after a job you actually want, don’t be afraid to shine, and that job will be yours! Good luck!