The interview is the single most stressful part of the job search process. Any number of things can go wrong, and a big part of being successful is avoiding simple mistakes.
You don’t want anything to stand in the way of you and your new job, so here are 10 simple interview mistakes to avoid:
Using your phone
Answering your phone or texting during an interview is a sure-fire way to send the message that you’ve clearly got more important things to do. Just turn it off.
You can make a very bad impression before you even arrive at your interview. Running late suggest poor time management skills and lack of respect for the company, the position and the interviewer.
Try to arrive at least 10 minutes early and don’t forget first impressions count.
Few words answers or talking too much
Uttering unexpected answers like saying the wrong things, wrong ideas, too-short-answers or at the opposite too-long-answers are the guaranteed ways to get eliminated from consideration.
You know little or nothing about the company’s culture.
Do some research. Reach out to friends and colleagues in the business. Surf for information. Ask career coaches. Is the company ultra conservative? Do staffers dress in business casual? Learn what you can — then dress for the interview accordingly.
Not asking questions
As Voltaire said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Interviewers usually leave a little time at the end to let you ask questions. If you really want to work for a company, this is the time to show it.
Lying about experiences
Faking your educational background or other personal traits also constitute serious problems. A lie is a lie. If you’re fabricating qualifications on a resume, will you stop once you get the job?
Staring unblinkingly at them
Eye contact is good. It allows people to make a connection with you, and we tend to trust people who make eye contact with us. However, excessive eye contact will make your interviewer uncomfortable. In the same way, a firm handshake is a good idea, but don’t crush their hand.
Don’t initiate any talk of salary at the first interview. If you are asked what you currently earning or would like to earn, be careful how you phrase your reply but be truthful. In some cases it’s best to keep this information under wraps and let them come to you with an offer first.
Talking negatively about current or previous employers
Would you hire someone who couldn’t stop badmouthing their last job? Rather than taking the low road, try and stay positive. You don’t need to lie, just be honest yet appreciative of past opportunities.
Not defining your strengths
Leave a positive impression with the interviewer about what benefit they would receive by hiring you. This is where you really have to market yourself and let the interviewer know what you can do for them. You have to let the company know what sets you apart from all the other applicants.
Practice does make perfect. Learn from your mistakes, and interviews become easier. What are some of the biggest job interview mistakes you experienced?