7 Things to Avoid in Your Next Job Interview
A job interview is really the deciding factor when it comes to the job application process. You might have a knock-out resume, but if you can’t demonstrate that you can do the job AND you’re a good fit for the organization in the interview, that may be as far as you go. If you’ve landed an interview, CONGRATS! Now, let’s get ready by reviewing a few common stumbling points:
There’s a lot of truth in the quote “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Chances are there are many applicants for the position you’ve targeted. Your new potential employer has a limited amount of time to assess each candidate. Make sure you get off to a running start by showing up clean, ON TIME and professionally dressed. If you have a tendency for nervous excitement, remind yourself to stay calm and keep it strictly professional. Sometimes trying too hard to be personable by appearing mega relaxed or over complimenting the interviewer can cross the line.
- Asking questions you should already know the answer to
Questions, like “What exactly does your company do?” only put a spotlight on your lack of preparation. If you are genuinely interested in the position, you should have researched the company and be able to demonstrate your knowledge during the interview. Recent events or news items on the company’s website can be a great source of info. Congratulate your interviewer on a recent company success that you read about in a press release.
- Asking about salary and perks
Sure, you are concerned about finances and you need to know what you are getting into. Hold off asking about salary, employee discounts, free products, vacation and bonuses in the initial interview. The company is searching for an enthusiastic team member – someone they can imagine will ultimately share their passion for the brand. Not someone who is only concerned about him/herself. More often than not, the interviewer will eventually cover these things you are itching to know on their own. If it’s time for negotiations and you still have questions, then it’s appropriate to ask.
- Complaining about previous jobs
We’ve all had bad experiences at work, but focusing on the negative won’t result in a “positive” interview. Never bad mouth a former employer. It only puts you in a bad light. I’m not suggesting that you lie in an interview, but give it some thought while you are preparing. Approach your negative experiences as challenges and focus on what you learned from those challenges. And of course, how what you’ve learned can benefit your new employer.
- Apologizing for a lack of experience
When you apologize, you are basically confirming to the interviewer that they can do much better! So don’t. Remain positive and focus on your passion and enthusiasm and how you can contribute immediately! Cover your list of strengths – paying particular attention to those that relate to the position.
- Not having any questions prepared for the interviewer.
Think about this ahead of time and have questions ready. Sure, the interviewer may answers some of those questions during the interview process, but if you pass on asking questions it can be perceived as disinterest in the job.
You may REALLY want this job. And it’s OK to let the interviewer know that you are very interested. However, sharing personal stories about being down on your luck financially, being over-eager to leave your current position, or hitting the post-interview follow-ups too hard can be turn-offs. You want to present yourself as a “catch” for the potential employer, not a sympathy hire.
Always remember the importance of following up after an interview – you would be surprised how many people let that slide. Check out CREDO’s blog for lots of career advice and interview tips!
Mindy Mihajlov, Manager of Technical Recruiting
Follow Mindy on twitter – @MindyRecruiter
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