Interviews necessitate that you make a good impression, however nerves or being unprepared can hold you back from presenting yourself in the best light. Here are six things to avoid during any job interview to ensure a successful conversation.
- Being unprepared. Anticipate questions about your resume and experience, and have answers for the most common interview questions. Do your research to get an idea of company culture, products, and where your skills may translate. A quick search of the company’s website and social media channels will prepare you.
- Being unprofessional. There are simple things you can do to solidify your impression as a professional. Arrive on time, say thank you, be respectful to all, and have a positive attitude. Dress professionally, and make eye contact. Turn off your phone and other notification so you can be present.
- Discussing salary. Don’t bring up salary in the first interview. Only discuss it if the interviewer asks you about it first. Otherwise best to focus on the role and company culture and discuss salary in follow-up interviews. If you are working with a recruiter, they will have shared your parameters ahead of time, so leave the negotiation to your recruiter.
- Being distracted. Let your friends or roommates know you are in an interview! Don’t get distracted by the chatter in the room. Pay close attention and listen! What is your interviewer asking you? If you’re not paying attention and either answer the wrong question or ask them to repeat it, you imply that your attention span or attention to detail is low. Show that you can follow directions and keep an open mind by simply listening. Listen well. Communicate even better by being concise, articulate, and to the point.
- Putting down a former boss or company. Even if your former employer was a nightmare to work with, nothing will make you look worse than speaking ill about them. You also never know who knows who! If a previous job situation was truly terrible, practice explaining what didn’t work for you in that position in a positive way.
- Being late. ABOT: Always Be On Time. If you don’t know where the company is, map it out before driving (or taking public transit or an Uber) so you know how long it’ll take to get there and can plan accordingly. Emergencies do happen, so if there is an outstanding situation for being late, like a car accident or a sick child, have `the hiring manager’s phone number so you can call and let them know what’s going on.
Good luck with your next interview.