There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that interviews are intimidating. Besides the fact that they’re so hard to get in the first place, in the excitement and nerves of it all we can tend to get flustered and commit some of the biggest interview no-no’s. There’s no puddle that’s muddier than one filled with mistakes! So, in honor of your interview prep festivities (i.e. we hope you are prepping), here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not being prepared.
This is a big deal because not only do you need to be prepared with physical items, but mentally. Being unprepared is one of the very first things the interviewer will notice (besides your appearance, of course). They will be looking to see if you have anything with you, and if you don’t, it sets an automatic bad impression. Being unprepared says a lot about your organization, interest, and what you will be like as an employee. If you have a tendency of doing this – you need to start getting your act together. Even if you will never even look at what you bring, or have a chance to show off your research, it’s better to know and have your things just in case. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Copy of your resume
- List of references
- Professional notepad and pen
- list of prepared questions
- a researched knowledge of the company
- the detailed job description (and how it relates to you)
Negative Body Language
Meeting an interviewer for the first time really tests our customer service skills and how good we are at making small talk and interacting with strangers (particularly ones we are trying to impress). That’s why it’s very important to have positive, open body language.
How you speak and act sends a message to others about how you feel. Be aware of your inclinations and habits, because interviewers will be aware too. Try to exuberate a happy and up-beat presence while trying not to come off as too confident. If they don’t think you’re the right fit for the job, at least they will remember and like you, and being liked is something that can take you a long way!
Saying too much or too little.
There’s nothing more inviting to any stranger you meet than having a friendly, outgoing personality – but there’s a line to be drawn. Telling your interviewer your entire life story and taking up most of the talk time is just far too overwhelming. Give a thoughtful answer but leave a breather space between questions. They want to know what your greatest accomplishment has been, not why your dog named Polly died when you were 3.
To an employer, asking no questions mean you have no interest. You want to show your future employer that you are outgoing and can be a team player. Being a personable person is something that takes practice. There’s no harm in doing as many interviews as you possibly can – they may be nerve-racking, but the more experience the better!
Not capturing Contact Info and Following Up.
Again, another one of the prominent ways you can show lack of interest. Why interview in the first place if there is no true interest in the job? Following up shows commitment, and that you are a mature professional and really care about the position. Don’t forget to show your personality within your email and remind them of how great of a fit you are (without siting facts from your resume.. you’ve already been there and done that).
p.s. don’t be late!