08th February, 2019
We often talk about what you should do in an interview, but not about what you shouldn’t. Prepare yourself fully for your next interview by knowing both what to do and what mistakes to avoid making. With that knowledge, you’ll be able to focus on your performance and impress the interviewer.
Fidgeting during an interview projects a lack of confidence. Pay special attention to your body language from the time you greet your interview to the time you leave the room. Make eye contact throughout the interview and keep your legs still. Shifting in your chair a few times is alright, but make sure you aren’t tapping your feet or shuffling around a lot. If you find your hands fidgeting, try folding them together.
Not dressing appropriately.
The old adage of ‘dress for success’ has a lot of truth to it. Clothing plays a significant role in making a good impression. It’s the first thing you will be judged on in an interview. If you’re unsure of what to wear, business casual is always a good option. Regardless of what you wear, make sure that your appearance is neat. Shirts and pants should be free of wrinkles and shoes should be clean.
Not doing your homework.
You need to research the company and learn as much as possible before your interview. A couple of key points to focus on are the company culture and important milestones in the company’s history. Make sure to learn the name of your interviewer as well. When you show up well prepared, you show that you’re serious about the job.
Complaining about your previous employer.
Complaining is always frowned upon in an interview, and complaining about your previous employer is especially troublesome. An interview is not the place to air your grievances. If you left your previous job because you didn’t get along with your manager, talk about how the culture fit wasn’t right or specific challenges you encountered. Try to keep your comments constructive and don’t let things become personal.
Forgetting to put your cell phone on silent.
You’re in the middle of talking about how you’d be a great fit for the position when your phone starts to ring. This can happen to anyone. While it won’t be a make or break error that would instantly disqualify you from getting the job, it can raise a red flag to the interviewer. It can also distract you and cause you to lose focus or let your nerves take over.
Chewing gum in an interview is an absolute no. Often this is an honest mistake, because you’ve forgotten to spit it out prior to entering the room. Avoid this mistake by having a mint rather than a stick of gum. If chewing gum helps to calm your nerves, set a timer for 15 minutes before the interview to remind you to throw it out.
Make these items into a checklist that you go over each and every time you have an interview. Run through it before you leave your house and again on the way to the interview. That way when you arrive at the interview, you can focus solely on your performance and ace it.