In today’s tough job market, getting a job interview is a major coup. You’ve made it through preliminary screening by having your resume selected for an interview out of the many that have been submitted by job seeking candidates. Now you must rise to the occasion and convince the person, or people interviewing you, that you are the best possible job seeking candidate for the job.
The actual job search is the easiest part of the process. Work history aside, you will be judged on attractiveness, age, appearance, nervous habits, demeanor, whether you’ll fit the corporate culture and plus biases the interviewer may have. End your job search by enhancing your chance of being selected by NOT doing the following 10 things:
1. Not doing company research before the interview.
Many interviewers start the interview by asking candidates to tell them what they know about the company. You will look like a fool if you haven’t done your homework and can’t answer the question; or do a miserable job of faking it. Rather than being a just job seeker, you want to demonstrate wanting a career with this company and you care enough to know and understand the company.
2. Arrive late for the interview.
Showing up late for an interview is an announcement to the interviewer that if you can’t bother to show up on time for the interview you are going to be even worse about showing up on time for work.
3. Bringing someone or something with you for the interview.
This shows you aren’t an independent person who can function without clinging to someone or something even for an important meeting. In a university interview for a librarian position, a candidate brought his mother. Bringing her was bad enough, but she proceeded to question the committee. He didn’t stand a chance.
4.Dress like this is casual Friday.
Show respect for the position and prove you care enough about being hired to dress the part. You may be being considered for a position at Zappo’s Corporation, one of the most laid back companies in the U.S., but respect the process and dress accordingly.
5. Use your cell phone.
It may be important to have a cell phone, but it isn’t an umbilical cord. Leave it in the car. Nothing is more important at the moment than the interview process. Unbelievably, at a recent interview the cell phone rang and the interviewee said “Just a moment” and answered her phone during the interview. End of interview.
6. Bring up special needs while interviewing.
Don’t say: “If I accept this position I have to have the first two weeks of April off because I want to take a trip to Florida.” Or, “I have to have Friday afternoons off for a bowling league.” This signals these are more important than being hired.
7. Say too much.
It is normal to be nervous during an interview, but hold yourself back from giving too much information. You will come across as a nervous chatterer who doesn’t listen and respond appropriately.
8. Bring food or beverages to the interview.
It is rude, distracting and inappropriate. The only thing worse would be to say “I couldn’t let those jerks know I was interviewing for another job so I had to do it on my lunch hour. I hope you don’t mind if I eat my lunch.”
9. Act like they need you more than you need them.
Your arrogance will be appalling.
10. Forget to be gracious and shake hands when the interview is over.
Old fashioned manners are never out of style and will demonstrate how well you work with others.