After sending out resumes for months, you finally got a job interview. It looks like persistence has paid off.
Now you are faced with the next big challenge—actually getting the job. Making a good first impression is vital. And you can help chances by avoiding some common interview mistakes.
Here are ten huge interview mistakes that can cause you not to get the job:
- Showing up late. Instead, show up ten to fifteen minutes early. This shows that you can be trusted and that you respect the interviewer’s time. There is no need to make the interviewer feel disrespected before you even step foot into the interview room.
- Showing up tired. Instead, get plenty of sleep the two nights prior to the interview. Back-to-back full night’s sleep will help you look better, feel better, and interview better.
- Not using their introduced name. Instead, call the interviewer by whatever name they use in their introduction. You risk offending them if you use any other name. And definitely do not refer to them as “Champ.”
- Not dressing appropriately. Instead, try to find out what the typical dress is for the organization. Once you have determined the typical dress, I always recommend going slightly more formal than the norm. Again, this will communicate respect and limit the risk of going too casual.
- Forgetting your manners. Instead, say please and thank you. Don’t sit until they sit. Don’t interrupt. And look at the interviewer when they are talking to you. Using basic manners will present you in a positive light.
- Being arrogant. Instead, be confident but humble. Acting as if you are a shoo-in will almost guarantee that you do not get the job. They want to make the selection, not you. And please don’t tell the interviewer that it is “their loss” if they don’t hire you.
- Demonstrating a lack of confidence. Instead, be confident but humble. You don’t want to be arrogant, but you don’t want to underconfident either. They need to know that you can handle the job. So be confident in who you are and your prior accomplishments.
- Constantly checking your phone. Instead, put your phone on silent and keep it in your pocket. The interviewer wants your undivided attention. If you won’t give it to them, they probably won’t give you the job.
- Not knowing anything about the organization. Instead, study the organization before the interview. Know some of the leaders’ names, the different departments, current performance, and organizational goals. This communicates a real passion, not just for the job, but for the organization as a whole. The knowledge will also help you ask better questions at the end of the interview.
- Failing to ask questions. Instead, have a good set of questions ready to go. At the end of almost every interview, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Saying, “Nope. I’m good,” is the wrong answer. Prepare at least two or three solid questions a few days before the interview. This is your last shot to impress. And a good question will do just that.
An interview is an opportunity. Do not let the opportunity go to waste by making avoidable mistakes.
And I wish you the best on your next job interview.