It might seem cruel, but time after time I've heard hiring managers admit they decide whether or not an applicant is suited for the job 15 minutes into the interview. Chemistry plays a huge part in the success of an initial meeting, and while you may not be able to control the laws of nature, you can certainly follow the rules of what not to do. Refrain from doing any of these eight things during your next interview.
- Slandering a Previous Employer - Speaking badly about your previous employer will only shed a negative light on you as an applicant. When asked about your last job or the management style of your old boss, use restraint and discuss what lessons you took away from the experience.
- Arriving Late - Showing up past the start of your scheduled interview time is hardly fashionable. Punctuality is a must when you're hoping to make an impressive first impression.
- Using Cliches - Hiring managers have interviewed countless individuals and hate when they can predict the answers to their questions. When they ask you why you think you're the best person for the job, don't tell them it's your dream job. Instead, explain how your previous positions have prepared you to fill the role and convince the interviewer that your skills and desire will exceed their expectations.
- Ringing Cell Phone - It's rude when your cell goes off at a restaurant, so it's definitely a no-no to leave your phone on when you head into an interview. I recommend making a checklist of important things to remember before your interview, and turning off your ringer should be first on the list.
- Forgetting to Introduce Yourself - Presentation is very powerful, particularly when it comes to interviewing for a job. While your interviewer should already know your name and then some by the time you arrive, don't just shake their hand and simply say "nice to meet you." Saying your name is important; it's polite, lets the interviewer know how to pronounce your name, and most importantly, reminds them which candidate they're interviewing!
- Wearing Sloppy Attire - As an adult, you should know how to iron and how to be tasteful. Arriving in wrinkled or sloppy clothes, or wearing something too revealing, does not speak to your maturity or ability to present yourself as a well put-together package.
- Asking About Vacation Time - It's natural to wonder about how much time off you'd receive as an employee, but asking about these benefits prematurely won't get you the job. Let the employer get to know you and get an idea of where you stand before discussing how much you won't be in the office.
- Acting Too Comfortably - You should feel relieved when you click with an interviewer, but that doesn't give you the go ahead to act like she's your old pal. Act friendly while maintaining an air of professionalism.
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