You’ve landed a job interview… congrats! That’s a big step, as getting your foot in the door can be a real challenge. But, the hard part is not over yet. The hardest part of this process if proving that human resources made the right decision when they chose you as one of the select few to be taken to this round. While we’d love to tell you that the interview process is smooth sailing, we can’t… because it isn’t. We want you to get that job! We’ve given you tips on what to do during your interview, so now it’s time to talk about what NOT to do.
Here are 9 interview mistakes that could be the detriment to your chances of getting hired.
- Arriving Late.There is nothing about showing up late that looks good to anyone in any situation, so why show up to your interview later than you were asked? Remember, this meeting is meant to help the company decide whether or not you would be a good fit for the position and the company. Don’t just be on time, be early. Take potential traffic, directions and parking issues into account before leaving, and factor that into your overall commute time. It is recommended that you arrive 10 minutes prior to the interview time. This not only leaves room for you to review your notes and take a restroom break, but it also shows that you are punctual, excited for the opportunity and reliable. All very important characteristics of a potential hire.
- Showing Up Unprepared.We’ve preached the importance of being prepared for interviews on countless occasions, and for good reason. Your interview preparedness is a direct indication of your work ethic, in your interviewer’s eyes. Coming in for your scheduled interview without some kind of strategy may make them think that you would approach the job in the same manner. Treat your interview like an exam. If you don’t prepare for it, chances are you will perform poorly. Do your research on the company and the position to get an idea of how you would be a good fit. Use this information when you’re answering and asking questions, to show that you didn’t dive into the interview blind. Show up unprepared and you can kiss your chances of getting hired goodbye.
- Underdressing.Do not, under any circumstances, show up to your interview looking like you just rolled out of bed, or don’t care about your appearance. Unfortunately, you will be judged by how you look, so put together a professional outfit and make a good impression.
- Interrupting Your Interviewer.This falls in the same hand as challenging your interviewer, which we will explain in part 2. We don’t want your potential peer or superior to be put off by you. It can be hard to keep your mouth shut when you are enthusiastic or excited. However, this is not the place to talk over or interrupt the other half of this conversation. Don’t try to finish your interviewer’s sentences, don’t step on their words, and don’t start responding until they’ve finished their thoughts.
- Acting Disinterested.This is the easiest way to get a big fat “no”! Don’t be mistaken – you are one of many people up for the position, and your interviewer isn’t going to waste too much time on someone that doesn’t show interest in what they’ve got to offer. If you aren’t interested now, what’s going to make them think that you’ll be interested in the position when hired? You may be interviewing for something that you don’t actually want because your options are limited. Or, maybe you are interviewing to get the experience but don’t plan to take the position if offered. It can be challenging to muster enthusiasm for something you don’t actually want; but, do it anyway. People talk!
- Badmouthing Former Employers.Who in the world would want to hire someone that talks s*** about the employers and companies that came before them? If you don’t have great things to say about your previous boss or job, don’t say anything or do your best to say it nicely. No one goes through life without experiencing a job or superior they didn’t like, but telling a potential employer how much you couldn’t stand them is only going to hurt your chances. They’ll wonder if they should expect the same treatment in the future.
- Failing To Ask Questions. You will inevitably be asked if you have any questions. This may seem like a good time to say, “nope, I’m all set! Thanks for meeting with me!”, but that would be a bad look. Ask questions based on your research of the company and position to reestablish your interest in the job. Better yet, ask questions throughout the interview to make it feel like a genuine, engaged conversation.
- Not Asking WhatToExpect Next. Don’t assume that after your interview, your interviewer will be meeting with the rest of the team to discuss your hire. Don’t assume that you will be hearing from them by the end of the week with an offer. Chances are the company is interviewing quite a few other people for the position. Each company follows different processes when it comes to hiring, and it isn’t uncommon to go weeks before hearing anything, whether good or bad. At the end of your interview, inquire about the next steps if the information hasn’t already been offered. Not only may you get insight that will ease your mind during the wait, but it will reinforce your interest.
- Not Following Up.Within 24-48 hours of being interviewed, send a thank you note to everyone that you met with. Remember, they took time out of their busy work day to meet with you, so they deserve some recognition! Not only will it leave a good impression but it will keep you front of mind, as they review all of the candidates.
Don’t jeopardize your chances of getting hired by making these simple mistakes! Stay tuned for Part 2!