In times when the job market is still less than something to jump up and down about, it only takes one gaffe on a job interview to send the job along to someone else.
So, whether you have interviewed dozens and dozens of times over the years or find yourself this year going out on your very first interview, by all means avoid some of the following miscues if you want to increase your chances of landing that gig:
1. Coming unprepared. One would think this would not even be an issue, but it unfortunately comes up more times than you may realize. For whatever the reason, the interviewee comes to the appointment unprepared, unorganized, and unfortunately unable to prove why he or she deserves the job.
2. Missed homework assignment. While you do not have to know every single detail about the company you are interviewing with, it would certainly behoove you to check out their website, have a reasonable understanding of what they do and what they offer customers, know who a few key team members are, and be able to point out how you will benefit the team overall. In many instances, candidates won’t even take more than a few seconds to check out the company website, leaving them essentially clueless as to how the company promotes its brand and serves those looking for its products and/or services.
3. You were supposed to be here at 2 p.m. Other than your appearance (see more below), the biggest no-no is showing up late for an interview. When noting late, this is not a minute or two, but more like 15, 20, or even 30 minutes late. You should always make sure you have your contact’s phone number or that of the office in general, allowing you to call them if you’re running late due to traffic or car problems. It looks much better if you have to reschedule the interview than if you show up as the employer’s next up interview appointment is walking in the door.
4. Clothes do make the person. Another major gaffe is looking like you are on your way to casual night with the gals or guys. While there are certainly instances where too much of a good thing can give off the wrong impression on an interview, you are much better off playing it safe, dressing a little more upscale rather than going for a jeans and t-shirt look (unless of course the job you are applying for does not necessitate such dress up). Also avoid coming in with an overabundance of makeup, perfume, cologne, and hair spray, this to the point where the person interviewing you becomes distracted by the look or smell.
5. Bad-mouthing others. Just about everyone has had a boss or coworker they have been with over the years that makes them gag. With that in mind, by all means do not bring this up during an interview. You will likely be asked how you get along with others, how you work under deadlines, and whether or not you do well with an abundance or mere amount of supervision. Do not take the occasion to note that you had a few run-ins with a former manager, for that will be a major red flag for the company interested in you at the time.
6. Not being thankful for the interview. Finally, always remember to be thankful that you had an interview in the first place, especially given the fact that today’s times find many people out of jobs. Along with thanking your interviewer in person for their time, send them a short email not long after your meeting, telling them that you appreciated their time, you feel you could be a good fit for their company, and you look forward to speaking again. Even if you don’t get the job this time around, making a positive impression on the company could land you high up on their list when they do interviews again down the road.
If you have found yourself interviewing countless candidates over the years, what are some of the major gaffes you find men and women looking for jobs making?
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