Congratulations! You’ve been informed that the position you’ve been vying for is hiring, and they’d like to interview you. “Now what? How can I maximize the chance that I’ll get the chance to start my career?” you might ask yourself. Interviews can be nerve-wracking to varying degrees for most people. But, there are principles you can keep in mind to reduce the chance the interviewer will leave the interview with a negative impression of you.
Not Being Prepared
Many job seekers make the critical mistake of showing up for a job interview without having done any research into the company they are interviewing for. It’s an uphill battle to prove that you’re the right candidate for a specific position if you know next to nothing about the job you’re applying for! You must do all the homework beforehand as you’ll come off as enthusiastic about the job. And you’ll have a good shot at impressing the person interviewing you.
When you get the job interview offer, research the company that you’ll be interviewing with. If you do this, you can easily show that you’re the right candidate by answering questions efficiently and effectively. You’ll also know what questions to ask your interviewer at the end when they ask if you have any.
The best way to do your homework on the company you’ll be interviewing with is to visit their website. You should be able to find a lot of pertinent information on most company websites. Other relevant websites to check out are corporate Linkedin profiles, Wikipedia, and any news articles written about the company.
What some prospective employees also find useful is visiting the company beforehand, picking up any brochures or information sheets available. The better prepared you are, the higher your chance of being hired!
Too Early, Too Late
Not arriving on time can easily compromise an interview. It leaves a bad impression that’s not easy to overcome when you arrive late. Arriving too early has the same impact because the interviewer forces the interviewer to accommodate you.
You don’t have to arrive at your interview right on the dot, but arriving five minutes earlier is the sweet spot. Make sure you have proper directions before you head out to the interview. If you have to, make your way to the interview spot the day before so you can get a good idea of how long it will take to get there for your actual interview.
Make sure you have everything you need long before you leave so that you do not have to scramble at the last minute. This includes the address, name of the person interviewing you, a copy of your resume, and anything else your interviewer asked you to come with.
The Wrong Attitude
There are several different things you could be doing during the interview that make you come across as a negative person or a person who doesn’t have the right attitude for the job.
Giving off the impression that you’re a negative person can be the result of a variety of behaviors during the interview. If you complain about previous bosses, colleagues, or companies, this can send a stark negative message to your interview. Avoid this at all costs.
Body language that can convey a negative attitude include:
- Hunching over
- Avoiding eye contact
- Folding your arms over your chest
- Fiddling with items
- Speaking quietly
Practice your answers to your test interview questions in front of a mirror to improve your tone of voice and your body language. Practicing beforehand will give you a better chance of being successful in your interview.
Not Preparing for Job Interview Questions
Two critical elements of a job interview are questions the interviewer asks you, and the second are those you ask the interviewer in return. If you are having a tough time answering the questions asked of you, you’re probably not explaining why you’re the best candidate for the job.
To avoid this, it’s best to think about your answers beforehand. You can check out the most common job interview questions by searching on Google, and prepare your answers before going to the interview. There are probably common interview questions in your industry that you can look up, too.
Some of the most common questions across all industries are:
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why are you the ideal candidate for this position?
- How would you handle your co-worker?
Practice and practice your answers some more before going into your interview. You don’t want to blank out in the middle of the interview process suddenly!
Not Asking (The Right) Questions
Many, if not most times, the potential job candidate doesn’t have any questions to ask when prompted at the end of the job interview! Not asking any may make it seem like you just want a job and are not too interested in the workings of the position of the company.
You can use the company research you conducted earlier to think of questions to ask your interviewer. Some examples are:
- What tasks are expected of me in this position?
- How will my performance be measured?
- What is the next step after this interview?
- What do you like best about this company?
Use your creative juices to stir up any (appropriate) questions you can think of!
Not Dressing the Part
While most people know that you need to dress the part when you show up for a job interview, some do not have an idea of what “dressing appropriately” actually means.
Understand the culture of the company by visiting the company before going into the interview. Observe what the other employees are wearing as they go about their days. If the employees tend to dress business casual, then showing up with very conservative clothing probably won’t cut it, and vice versa.
Avoid clothing that is loud, bright, or extreme. Avoid wearing strong perfumes colognes or extravagant jewelry. Cover up any tattoos, and if you have facial piercings, take them out before the interview. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you want to work at a tattoo parlor, but chances are you’re not.
Maybe it doesn’t feel fair, but if your interviewer is more focused on your appearance rather than on why you’re the best candidate for the job, you’re unlikely to get hired.
Being Impolite or Dishonest
Never lie to your potential employer about any degrees or work experience you may have to get the position you desire. The chances are incredibly high that they’ll find out the truth before hiring you, and if not, then you will be terminated when they do after they’ve hired you. If a job is beyond your current skills or capabilities, don’t bother applying.
Being impolite can be highly offensive to people. Not saying hello, how are you, nice to meet you, have a great day, even if these seem shallow, are niceties that society takes for granted. Abstaining can make you seem rude.
Avoiding these common interview mistakes will not guarantee your hire, but they will reduce the chance of your interviewer dismissing you before even reviewing your qualifications.