Trying to find a new job is often stressful, but nothing hurts as much as when you are finally invited to interview but end up missing out on the job opportunity because you made common interview mistakes that you could have easily avoided! While interviews are an opportunity for an employer to learn more about you, interviewers do not want to hear too much personal information about you, including everything from long confessions of your unfavorable past to a cell phone ringing. Here are some quick interview tips, letting you know what not to do in your big interview:
No Preparation One of the first things most interviewers ask is, "What do you already know about our company?" One of the reasons most employers will ask this is to gauge your interest in the company itself, finding out whether you know anything about the business or are just applying because you are looking for work. It’s OK if you are interested in a company mainly because they are looking for new employees, but most employers are already aware of that, and might be offended if that becomes too obvious in the interview. If you are unable to provide an effective answer when asked, "Why do you want to work for us?" you may hurt your chances of being offered the position even before you receive the opportunity to discuss your abilities.
Dressing Inappropriately If you want to offered the position, you need to dress the part. Wear a nice business suit when applying for a professional position. Even if you are applying for a more casual position, still dress nicely. Dressing up a little for an interview lets the employer know that you are interested in impressing him or her and are grateful for receiving the opportunity to interview. Individuals who dress inappropriately often give off a bad first impression, causing the interview to sometimes go south in the eyes of the employer very quickly. If you are unsure what to wear, visit the employer, take note of what current employees are wearing and follow suit.
Poor Communication It is important that you communicate well with and establish a connection between the person who may hire you. Individuals not willing to shake hands, make eye contact, or hold an engaging conversation will likely not be offered the position. Remember: employers are often hiring you to work with them. If you are not friendly and personable in the interview, the employer may not be interested in getting to know you better at work, so put your best foot forward. Be sure to establish good communication prior to answering the first interview question.
Forgetting to Turn Off Your Cell Phone Some individuals make the mistake of forgetting to silence their cell phone during an interview. Others permanently destroy their chance of being offered a job when they actually go so far as to answer the phone right in front of the interviewer! If you want employers to take you seriously, you must silence or turn your phone off prior to entering the building. Make sure you pay more attention to the employer than your cell phone during the interview process.
Not Enough Talking Some interviewees answer questions with one word and forget to provide any specific details. Perhaps intimidated by the whole interview process, offering one-word answers might make you look like you don’t have enough professional experience. Awkward silence in an interview is uncomfortable for both parties, and can definitely hurt your chances of getting hired. It is important to be responsive and answer each question as thoroughly as possible, even if it amounts to only a few sentences.
Talking Too Much Many people mistakenly believe "more is better," and allow themselves to go on and on when answering an interview question. While you should take care not to answer interview questions too bluntly, the interviewer does not need a long, drawn-out explanation for every single question. Keep your answers brief and to the point.
Not Knowing Your Resume Many individuals make the mistake of bulking up their resume before the interview and then not being familiar with their qualifications the day of the interview. It is very important to remember what you included in your resume"dates of previous employment, education, and skills"during the interview, as forgetting pertinent information may make you seem uninterested or even fraudulent.
Providing Wrong Answers Some interviewees can be too jumpy to answer a question, and end up just blurting something out before hearing the whole question or taking the time to really interpret what the interviewer is asking. Make sure to really listen to the question before you give an answer, and take a second to reflect upon how you are going to respond.
Bashing a Former Employer Too often candidates can get carried away when asked about previous employers, and make the mistake of offering too honest opinions about the management of their former companies. An interview is never the right place to express your unguarded feelings, even if your former employer was not a good fit for you or your boss was unfair. Don’t make an interviewer think that you will speak in the same way about this company if you happen to leave on unfavorable terms. When asked questions about why you left your previous job, try to discuss it in the most positive manner as possible.
Forgetting to Follow Up Many applicants think their part is over once they are done with an interview, and just wait for the employer to make the next move. It is good practice to follow up the interview with a simple "thank you" note or email, giving you the opportunity to restate your interest in the position and company. Even if you are still passed up for the current position, the employer might remember your good manners and obvious interest in the company and remember you when another position comes available in the future.