Unless you’re working your dream job, chances are you’ve had a bad interview experience at some point. If you’ve never interviewed before: prepare to fail miserably. Don’t worry though. You can avoid that grim fate by reading this article and avoiding the five most common ways people mess up their potential job opportunity.
#5 Don’t Dress Like a Hobo
As much as you may want to show up in a pair of jeans and Crocks, you absolutely can’t afford to dress casually for your interview. Suits are a longstanding business tradition, so suit up! Even if you’re on a cup-o-noodles and ramen budget, you need to set aside some cash and get a suit. Professionals will think you’re lazy and lack dedication and even if that’s true, you can’t afford to have your interviewer think of you that way. Ladies, you’re not interviewing to become a model, so take yourself seriously and dress conservatively.
#4 Don’t Flirt With the Interviewer
Unless you’re interviewing with your wife, significant other, and / or both, you can’t treat your interview as a speed dating session. Remember: you’re probably going to be working with the person you’re talking to and you need to maintain a professional relationship with them. You also need to remember that you only have so much time to make an impression. Don’t waste is on cheap pick-up lines.
#3 Don’t Fidget
No matter what you might think, your interviewer does not want to see you tap out the guitar solo to “Freebird.” Acting like a human spasm machine will only make them uncomfortable. Also, you’re not a professional baseball player so spit out the gum before the meeting. Most importantly, maintain eye contact! Looking elsewhere implies you’re disinterested or too intimidated by your potential coworker.
#2 Don’t Tell Them About Your Problems
It’s important to remember that you’re not meeting with your high school counselor. The business professional doesn’t care about your crushing break up so stick to the important details. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear excuses on your shortcomings so focus on selling yourself effectively. Direct the conversation towards your strengths and convey confidence.
#1 Don’t Be Late
You’re not going to a frat party. Arriving late is not considered “cool” to the interviewers. These business professionals set aside their time for you, so show some respect and get there on time. Furthermore, this is your first impression. Arriving late tells your employers that you’re not a punctual individual and you probably shouldn’t be hired. So how about it fellow job seekers: do you have any interview horror stories to share?