We have all been there, sitting across the desk from the person who will decide your suitability for the job that you have applied for. I have talked with thousands of job searchers in the past 15 years. Some of the mistakes that I have listed below were experiences I had with these people and some were experiences that they told me about. Either way, these are the things we want to make sure do not happen during an interview.
- Treat every person as if they are the person interviewing you. Every time I am hiring internally, I will always ask my receptionist how they felt about their interaction with the job searcher. If they were treated poorly by that individual, I would take that into consideration. You never know who may be sitting at that front desk and how much influence they may have on the decisions being made.
- Showing hopelessness or desperation. Leave the interview with confidence, enthusiasm and self-assuredness. Begging for the job or saying how badly you need the job will only leave a poor impression of you with the interviewer.
- Be aware of your body language. Slouching, tapping your feet, playing with a pen and/or nervousness are all signs that you are not confident in yourself, are not interested or don’t care. For a list of more body language signs, visit Interview Mistakes on our website.
- Answering questions with a “yes” or “no” answer. You are there to impress the interviewer with your ability to sell yourself and show them how you can contribute to the company. Simple answers like this show that you really do not care.
- Badmouth your current or previous employers. This shows a lack of respect and care for the company and their reputation. Best thing to do is say that it was not a suitable work environment. If the interviewer decides to question that more, use direct to the point answers and do not elaborate if possible.
- Not asking questions. This is your opportunity to find out more about the company and the culture or work atmosphere. Ask intelligent questions that will allow you to decide if it is the right place for you.
- Eat during the interview. This has only happened to me once, but you can tell it made an impression on me and not in a good way. This is just not appropriate behavior during the interview.
- Read from notes. Having your resume and reading to the interviewer what is on it only shows that you are not prepared and leaves the interviewer with the impression that you do not even know what you were doing in that position.
Interviews can be stressful and awkward. Being prepared is the best way to show that you are the right person for the job.
For more tips on interviewing, visit the Job Searchers page on our website.