As a former Recruiter in both the Accounting and Medical fields, I’ve seen many mistakes made in interviews that I was very surprised to see. If you’d like to be sure your not making any of these, read further, and get that job!
1. Not being prepared.
One of the most important things you can do before the interview, is to be prepared. Research possible interview questions and know your answer ahead of time. Not being prepared leaves you with little chance of securing that position. Research the business and know a little bit about it, and be sure to prepare several questions for your interviewer.
2. Dressing inappropriately.
Never make the mistake of under dressing for a job interview. If you don’t know how to dress for it, try and visit the business to see what employees are wearing; then, dress slightly better. Be neat and clean. Avoid open toed shoes, most businesses will not let you wear them to work so never wear them to an interview. Avoid “sexy”. You want to prepare intelligent and professional. Do not wear too much cologne or perfume or over do your make-up. Understated is better. Do not wear sunglasses, chew gum, or – chew tobacco. Gross. I have actually interviewed people who have worn sweats and flip flops or tattered jeans and hoodies. It doesn’t work, and you’ll immediately not be considered for the position as it will appear that you don’t care. First impressions count, show you care.
3.Do not bring a child or children with you to the interview.
Even though you would think most people would never do this, I am surprised at the number of people who do. Find a babysitter. If you are unable, or if your sitter cancels at the last minute, it is better to call your interviewer and explain the situation and reschedule. Don’t expect potential co-workers to baby sit while your interviewing. I still can’t believe that actually happened.
4. Being so quiet the interviewer can hardly hear you.
It is very important to have confidence in your answers. If you are so shy or quiet that you are mumbling and staring down at the floor, the odds of getting that job are against you. An outgoing and friendly personality can be the best tool in getting a job. People want to work with people that they like. Practice answering questions confidently with friends or relatives before your interview. Be sure and make eye contact and smile!
5. Talking about how much you hated one of your past jobs.
No matter how bad your last job was, or how evil your former boss, never discuss this with the interviewer. I know you want to, but if you want the job, don’t. It will always look like you are negative and that the chances of your not liking the position you are interviewing for in the future are much greater. Think of something a little more positive, such as, “I’d like to find a job where I can use more of my skills as in the position you are offering.”
6. Immediately asking about the pay and/or benefits.
Before discussing what the business can offer you, you must sell yourself and discuss how you can be beneficial to the company. This is a common mistake. Of course, you’ll want to have an idea of the pay and benefits, and most likely the interviewer will give you details on that as soon as they feel they are speaking with a candidate with true potential.
7. Not selling yourself.
An interview is all about selling your skills and personality. During this brief time, you are your own sales person. If this is not your normal personality, think of it as acting. Focus on what you can bring to the business and how you will fit in well. If you don’t do this, you will not get the job.
8. Texting and answering calls during the interview.
Believe it or not, many people make this mistake. Never, ever answer your cell phone or text in an interview. Even better, turn your phone off. A loud cell phone ringing in the middle of an interview is very distracting.
9. Being rude to the receptionist or other employees within the business.
This is another one that happens all the time. I am surprised that people don’t realize that if they are rude to the receptionist, that person is going to tell the interviewer. No one wants to work with a snobby, difficult, or rude person. Being friendly to everyone is very important. You never know who you are talking with, and every person deserves respect.
10. Being too aggressive or overbearing.
It is important to ask for the job. At the end of the interview, let him or her know that you think you would be a benefit to their team, department or business and find out when you can expect to hear back. Follow up with a thank you note, or email if time does not allow for mailing. On the other hand, being too aggressive and acting desperate or demanding the job, calling the company or emailing constantly after the interview. Follow up is important, stalking does not work.
By the way, please don’t come to the interview in lingerie and start smoking, unless your auditioning for an acting job or wanting something other than a job. Avoiding these mistakes will give you a much better chance of getting the job you want. Good luck!