I recently interviewed several candidates for a new job opening. I have to admit
that I was surprised by mistakes candidates made in this day and age of easy
access to advice. So here is some advice on what not to do, based on the
mistakes made very recently by candidates in real life.
1. Don’t come to an interview unprepared.
Research the company that you’re interviewing at and know as much as you
can about them. If you know the person you will be interviewing with, use the internet to research them. It shows you’ve done your homework and may provide insights into points you may wish to raise during the interview. Bring a printed copy of your resume and offer it to the interviewer(s). They may not have the most recent version and it demonstrates preparedness and thoughtfulness.
2. Don’t look away from people when you are talking to them.
Maintain appropriate eye contact, both when they are talking to you and when you are talking to them. Don’t stare at a blank wall or look out the window or up at the ceiling. Look at the person you’re talking with. But don’t stare at them either.
3. Don’t come to an office setting wearing inappropriate attire.
Dress professionally for the job you are interviewing for. Wear clothes that fit properly. Make sure your clothes are pressed or ironed. Men, if you’re wearing a tie, wear it properly. Not loose and hanging below the collar. And tuck in your shirt properly. Leave childish accessories at home. No cartoon characters on jewelry, watches, or cases. Cover up tattoos, unless you’re interviewing at a tattoo parlor. Wear clothes that match. Wear job appropriate foot wear. For an office job, leave sneakers at home, wear proper dress shoes.
4. Don’t come across as desperate.
Companies hire people who they believe will work hard and contribute. Sad stories may make the interviewer feel compassion, but hiring decisions aren’t based on compassion. Focus on your strengths, how past performance can be viewed as relevant to the job you’re interviewing for, and how you can contribute to the employer.
5. Don’t lie.
If you’re currently unemployed, don’t try to make it sound like you’re working. This is an easy fact to verify, and being caught in a lie is sure fire way to be rejected. Don’t claim to be highly proficient in a skill that you’re only a novice at. One or two questions will quickly reveal how little you know. Instead mention the true extent of your experience, and be sure to mention that you find it interesting and are anxious to learn more.
6. Don’t leave your cell phone on.
Don’t allow calls or vibrations to interrupt the interview. Turn off your cell phone!
7. Don’t come across as bland and uninterested.
Talk enthusiastically. Describe what you like about the industry, the company, the job. If you’ve found interesting details about the person you’re interviewing with, mention what you found interesting about their background and any similarities to your own.
8. Don’t stop after the interview.
Follow-up as soon as possible with a thank you note. Include details about the job from the interview that are of interest to you. Add a gentle reminder about how your background and/or strengths will make you a good employee in this job.
Do you have any additional advice for people going to interviews? Comment below with your tips and submit your story to UltiCareer to help job seekers and students even more!
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