Interviews are one of the more challenging and stressful parts of the job search process. However, through careful planning, research, practice and by avoiding the below mistakes you can help minimize the stress and improve your chances of success.
- Arrive late – Being on time means you check in for your interview approximately 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Do a practice drive to the location a day or two before if you are unsure about how to get there. If something happens beyond your control that will cause you to be late call the person you are interviewing with to let them know. Write down the contact person’s phone number before you leave for the interview.
- You don’t know the name of the person you are interviewing with – Nothing sets a worse first impression than checking in with the receptionist and not knowing the name of the person you are there to meet with for the interview. Write down the name of the person you will be meeting with when you set up the interview.
- You don’t understand what the company/organization does – There is absolutely no reason to show up to an interview and not know what the company does. Visit the company’s website and social media accounts to gain an understanding of the what company does. The information is at your fingertips and the expectation is you will research the company prior to the interview.
- You forgot what the job was about – It’s never a good sign when you admit to the hiring manager that you don’t remember what the job posting was about. Always take a print out or save a copy of the job posting to your computer for any job you apply to. When you get called for an interview you should pull this information out and review what the company is looking for in that position.
- Show up in an unprofessional outfit – For most interviews job seekers should arrive dressed in a proper suit that conveys your professionalism. Showing up dressed too casual tells the company that the position isn’t a priority for you. Prepare your outfit days in advance and put it on to ensure everything fits properly. Avoid perfume or cologne. Hiring managers can become very unhappy when they are stuck in a room with an interviewee wearing perfume/cologne.
- Incomplete or ineffective answers to interview questions – It’s tough to give dazzling answers to questions when you feel the spotlight on you during the interview process. But this is an area where practice does help. Start with printing up some sample questions and have a friend or family member ask you them. This will help you get comfortable with answering interview questions.
Hiring managers don’t expect you to be perfect when you come in. They know many job seekers are nervous during the interview. But hiring managers do expect good candidates to avoid the interview mistakes listed above.