If You Want to Get Hired, DON’T Make These Interview Mistakes

With so many employers looking to hire these days, it can be tempting to think that getting an interview means you’ll get the job. Not so—employers still want to hire the RIGHT employee, and making these rookie mistakes can cost you:

Don’t Be Late

A job interview is an opportunity to show a potential employer that you’ll be an excellent employee. Showing up late—even by a few minutes—is a red flag many interviewers won’t ignore.

Do a practice run if you don’t know how long it will take you to travel to the interview. If it’s a virtual interview, enter the waiting room well before your interview time to avoid last-minute technical difficulties. There are no penalties for arriving early, but lateness can cost you the job.

Don’t Forget to Turn Off Your Phone

There’s nothing like a blaring text alert to say, “I don’t plan to give this job my full attention.” Silence your phone and concentrate on what’s happening in the interview—and how you can make the most of it.

Don’t Skip the Prep

Doing a little bit of work before your interview can put you in a much better position for success. You don’t want to get caught flat-footed by basic questions about the company! Research the organization to learn:

  • Their mission, vision, and values
  • Their products, clients, and services
  • The responsibilities and required qualifications for your desired role
  • Background information on your interviewer
  • Current company news and events

Once you’ve filled in your background knowledge about the company, give some thought to the role you want and how to position yourself as the best candidate.

  • Do an internet search on the most commonly asked interview questions and prepare specific answers.
  • Practice your responses in front of a mirror or on video.
  • Prepare questions for your interviewer.

Don’t Play It Cool

There’s a difference between projecting confidence and seeming disinterested. Even though you may be nervous, don’t play it too cool. Showing excitement about the role, the company, and the opportunity tells your interviewer you want the job. Why would they hire someone who gives the impression of not caring? Show your investment in the opportunity by:

  • Arriving on time
  • Dressing appropriately
  • Knowing basic information about the company and the role
  • Answering questions thoroughly and asking insightful questions of your own
  • Inquiring about the next steps in the hiring process
  • Following up with a prompt post-interview email thanking them for their time

Don’t Bad-Mouth Your Previous Employers

If the interview is going well, and you’ve made a great connection, it’s tempting to confide that you hated your last boss, your co-workers were annoying, or you felt unappreciated. Don’t do it. You may be 100% in the right, but it won’t come across that way. You’ll sound like a whiner—or even worse—a problem employee.

If a previous position left you with negative feelings, give them a positive spin. If the interviewer asks why you left your last position, tell them you want to work with a high-performing team focused on results or something similarly positive.

Related Posts:

4 Tips for Writing an Unforgettable Thank You Note or Email

The Go-To Guide for Answering the Most Common Interview Questions

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