Interviewing is a learned skill, and it is a lot easier if you learn the pitfalls before the interview. Once the interview is over it is too late to do a re-run. Thinking ahead about the impression you want to make and what you want the interviewer to know about you will avoid some common mistakes, or bloopers.
1.Poor non-verbal communication
It’s about demonstrating confidence – standing straight, making eye contact, and connecting with a good, firm handshake. That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview.
2. Not dressing for the job or company
Today’s casual dress codes in the office, do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to look professional and well groomed, above all. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call and find out what the company dress code is before the interview.
3. Not listening
From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not listening – turning up your intuitive – you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what they said. Observe your interviewer and match that style and pace.
4. Talking too much
Telling the interviewer more than they need to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time you may tend to ramble, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting; matching your skills with the requirements of the position, and relating only that information.
5. Being over-familiar
The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. The level of familiarity should mimic the demeanor of the interviewer. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview, and to ask questions, but not to over-step your place as a candidate looking for a job.
6. Using inappropriate language
It’s a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics, or sexual preferences – these topics could get the door slammed very quickly.
7. Acting cocky – being overconfident
Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. There is a fine balance between confidence, professionalism, and modesty. Even if you’re putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability, over-doing is as bad, if not worse, as being too reserved.
8. Not answering the question asked
When an interviewer asks for an “example of a time,” you did something, he is seeking a sample of your past behavior. If you fail to relate a “specific” example, you not only don’t answer the question, but you miss an opportunity to prove your ability and tell about your skills.
9. Not asking questions
When asked if they have any questions, the majority of candidates answer, “No.” Wrong answer! It is extremely important to ask questions. It demonstrates an interest in what goes on in the company. It also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what is asked during the interview, and asking for additional information.
10. Appearing desperate
It’s a tough job market, and you need a job! But, when you interview with the “Please, please, hire me,” approach you appear desperate and less confident. Maintain the three “C’s” during the interview: Cool, Calm, and Confident! You know you can do the job, – now, make sure the interviewer believes you can, too.