Congratulations, you did it. You made it to the interview. You are just a few steps away from one or more job offers. Make sure you are prepared, brush up on your interviewing skills, and follow these steps on what NOT to do.
1) Showing Up Late
This is super obvious, but it happens more than you would think. It is not usually intentional, and while planning to get there fifteen minutes ahead of time seems like an ample amount, it is not. Often times the building can be hard to find, there can be unprecedented traffic, or a family of ducks crossing the street could cause a 45 minute back up. Point is, leave a lot of time in advance. In the event of something unprecedented is causing you to be late, call the company in advance and explain you are running a little behind. Do not wait until you get there to explain your reasoning. Your best option is to plan to get there early, sit in your car or the lobby, and review the company history, your resume, and your talking points.
2) Getting too Comfortable
Over the course of the interview, specifically if you feel it is a great fit or a terrible fit, remember to keep it professional through out the entirety of the interview. Perhaps you feel confident about your chances and you are really clicking with the interviewer, that is great, but that does not mean you should start speaking about anything personal or off topic. Keep it professional and courteous throughout. Similarly, if during the interview you realize it is not a great fit or you have a bad feeling about the company, continue to be attentive and involved. Keep in mind that it will not last forever and someone is taking time out of their day to interview you.
3) Coming Unprepared
Preparing physically for your interview is just one part. Getting your outfit right, arriving early, and making a good first impression upon arrival are all just the beginning. Know your stuff. You should learn as much about the company as you can. You can bring up your knowledge on the company during an interview to not only show the employer you care, but to also offer insight on where you think you can help. Similarly, prepare your questions for the end of the interview. Even if you think you know everything about the position and the company, still ask the questions. It shows the employer you are interested and can help you determine if the job is the right fit.
4) Having Poor Body Language
Your interview begins the second you walk into the building. Be aware, attentive, and alert the instant you enter the building. Smile at others and portray yourself in a positive way. You never know who you may run into in the building. This should go without saying but be kind to everyone you meet as well. It does not matter if they are a receptionist, the person interviewing you, or the CEO of the company. Treat everyone equally, remember you want there to be no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are the best candidate for the position. Lastly, during the interview, sit up straight, do not fidget with items around you, and keep eye contact with the person or people interviewing you.
5) Speaking Negatively about a Former Employer
This is a huge negative in any work place. While the question “why did you leave your current company” or “what did you not like about your previous job” comes up often, the interviewer does not want to hear about how you did not like your previous boss. If you talk poorly about your old boss, what is to say you won’t talk negatively about your new one. Keep it professional and courteous. Say you felt it was time to move on or you just wanted a new experience. It is a never a good idea to talk negatively about anything from your past in an interview.
The interview process can be daunting. This is really what will determine if you get the job you want or not. It is important to be prepared both physically and mentally, and also be confident but not overly so. You have to illustrate why you are the ideal candidate for the position, all while showing your interest and maintaining a professional presence. It is a lot to handle, but just remember, they called you in to interview for a reason. They are interested in you for a reason, you just have to show them what that reason is.
Have any interesting interview stories or advice? Let us know in the comments below!