Throughout your life you will go through interviews for countless reasons. Whether it be a new job, a prospective school or even a date, you will face the music. Interviews can be nerve-racking and stress you the heck out.
Mind over matter is the best motto for trying to calm your nerves when facing a tough interview. What is the worst that can happen? You don’t get the position and you keep trying elsewhere. You are only gaining more practice and comfort with the more interviews you do.
On the other hand, some people have absolutely no problem with interviews. Their insane level of confidence shines and they protrude that with easily acing the interview. Here are 10 mistakes that the best of us will never make in a job interview.
15. Not turning off your phone
Just imagine the scenario, you’re sitting down and in the deep over the questioning and all of a sudden your Justin Bieber ringer goes off. If that ringtone is not embarrassing enough, your Aunt Sally keeps calling until you pick up. This all could have been avoided if you had just turned your phone off before going on.
The world will not end if you are detached from your cell for an hour. Your precious Facebook notifications will still be there and all your Instagram likes will not disappear. Not only is your phone buzzing a HUGE distraction during questioning, it is almost an immediate end to any chance you had of getting the position. If the thought of your phone going off during an interview does not make your skin shiver in embarrassment, you need to keep reading!
14. Not dressing accordingly
You would be surprised how much of an impact your physical look has on the chances of you landing the job. It is amazing what some people will consider wearing to a professional interview and think that it is appropriate. Rule number one: cover up! Overexposure is trashy, unprofessional and a big no-no when interviewing.
Dress according to the position you are trying to get. If you are trying to get a barmaid position, a sexier look is a lot more acceptable. Having your shirts pressed with no wrinkles and a proper blazer is essential. Washed hair, a fresh face (not full of makeup) and a good pair of shoes helps to pull the entire look together. If you are unsure of what you are sporting, don’t be shy to ask somebody’s opinion beforehand. It is better to be safe than sorry!
13. Using inappropriate language
After getting more comfortable during the interview, you can relax a bit and let a bit loose. It is so important to always be mindful of the language you are conducting yourself with. It is an expression of who you are, after all. Cursing is 100% taboo and completely off limits, no matter how casual you think the setting is.
Expressing yourself clearly with ‘yes’ not ‘yeah’ and not using everyday slang to get your point across is highly recommended. The way you carry your voice literally speaks for you, so speak in a proper and respectful manner no matter what the case.
12. Being hazy about your resume
Over the years, you have accumulated a lot of job experience, years of education, publications and extra curricular work as well as awards and certifications to say the least. Consistently refreshing your resume and knowing that it is up to date is key.
It is equally important to be sure of all the dates and references if asked again. Your resume is what lands you in an interview in the first place, so make sure you know exactly what is on it and make sure that it is truthful. Getting caught in a jam or lie will leave a bad impression and make you seem like you don’t cross your T’s and dot your I’s.
Some people are continual talkers, some people are more closed off and some people don’t know how to stfu! When prompted, the interviewers may want to know you on a bit more personal level than just your degrees and years of experience elsewhere. When given the opportunity to let your personality shine, keep it in check.
Babbling on about your party days, problems at home or in your marriage gets classified into the oversharing file. Keep small talk light and easy. Good go-to’s are sharing things you are passionate about, perhaps painting or your current workout routine. Keep conversations really PG and don’t go to deep because you will find yourself drowning.
10. Cutting them off
Wanting your interviewers to know every last amazing detail about you and why you are the best candidate is normal. The way you go about expressing this is where a lot of people fail. Being so eager to volunteer your accomplishments can sometimes land you in trouble. Not letting them finish their sentences and verbally cutting them off is a really bad look.
It makes you look impatient and disrespectful to others’ time and thoughts. Having them lead the interview is essentially, so trying to take the reigns and overpower the interview verbally will get you a ticket to “we regret to inform you” town.
9. Being late
This is one of the most cardinal rules not to break when going on an interview. Your punctuality speaks volumes before any words come out of your mouth to your interviewers. When you are late, it shows that you were ill prepared especially with usually enough notification for the time of your interview for you to make an plan.
There is no arguing that life does happen (car breaks down, traffic, unexpected circumstances arise etc.) but that should all be taken into consideration when planning your day around your interview. Give yourself enough leeway that you will still arrive in a timely manner despite life throwing you unexpected curve balls.
Being early is on time, being on time is late and being late is unacceptable.
With a lot of job opportunities, having a connection helps immensely. Naturally, you do have to have some clue of what is expected of you. Having a friend, family member or acquaintance vouch for you increases your chances without a doubt of acceptance.
During the interview if you slip it in that you do in fact knowing a mutual person, that could help. Presenting this connection in an obnoxious and not subtle way does not make you look good.
Throwing multiple names out in order to up your chances proves to the interviewers that you are clinging to them for support instead of being confident about being the right fit for the job. Less is more, keep that in mind.
7. Asking about salary and benefits straight off the bat
Of course asking questions at the interview is essential, but it really depends on what they are. The questions should be relevant to the company, the job requirements, ask questions that show how interested you are in the actual position.
Naturally, we all work for money so wanting to know how you will be compensated is a must. Save these types of questions for the follow up or second interview in the future. Asking so quickly about these things give off the impression that you do not care about the work and are just looking to get paid.
6. Coming unprepared
Like any major meeting, you must do some work beforehand to ensure that you do not look foolish,you are well informed and have all the documentation required and expected of you for the big day. Make sure you go over the postings and bring all transcripts, references, diplomas and extra resumes on hand.
Do your research about the position and the company. Make a point to know exactly what you are applying for and what it entails. Do background research on the interviewers if that even helps to find common ground on something you may spot (i.e went to the same school, from the same hometown etc.)
5. Invasive followups
Once you get the hang of going on several interviews, you will realize how important it is to follow up AFTER it is all done. Sending an e-mail expressing your thanks for the interview as well as how much more interested you are in the position and how much you have learned will make you stand out.
The interviewers will remember you and appreciate your gratitude as well as the extra mile you went and the interest you are showing. This small move makes a big different, so do not disappear after the interview is done. You can even touch base and check up if the position has been filled if a lot of time as passed with no news from the employer.
4. Bashing other companies
This is a big no no. If you are asked about past experiences, never re account details of how horrible it was. Don’t start talking about all the people who wronged you and how much you think the company is a piece of crap. It shows that you left on bad terms and still carry a jaded attitude about it.
They will expect you to speak in the same regard about them as you did about the others if something goes array. If you are declined the position with a company, do not bash them either. You never know who knows who, the world is a small place and there are always six degrees of separation.
Do not burn bridges, you never know what will come around the corner in years to come.
3. Not knowing your boundaries
You would be surprised at how many people have no social etiquette. There is a major lack of knowing when to draw the line in many situations. Understand that your interview is professional and should not be misconstrued into a relationship that is beyond that.
Acting as if you are best friends with your interviewers makes you come across as way to casual and destroys any boss/employee relationship. Know your boundaries, keep work with work, do not inquire about doing activities outside of the office or work environment to better your chances. Any personal get together is off limits and is inappropriate.
2. Negative body language
Subconsciously we all express physically how we are feeling emotionally. When we are angry, our fists are clenched, our face tense and jaw locked. The same goes for when you are nervous, your palms are sweaty, hands are shaky and voice trembling.
They all know you are nervous, but always try to remain confidence and open., your body language will follow. Never cross your arms or slouch, it automatically makes you unapproachable which is never a good sign for a perspective employee.
Don’t bring a drink in with it, and end up playing and picking at the cup without even realizing it, it is distracting. Try to carry yourself in a confident and comfortable manner, remain proper.
1. Not having any questions
Just as much as you want the job, the interviewers are interested in your questions as well. Not having any questions prepared is unprofessional and shows lack of interest. For any position, there are always questions to ask, if not you can find the bare basics to get you by.
Interviews are a two-way street and you should genuinely try to get as much information as possible about the opportunity to see if it fits for what you are really looking for and wanting. When the floor is given to you for questions, you can easily demonstrate the research you have done and set yourself apart.
You can really let your personality, interest and professionalism shine through at this moment with well prepared inquiries.