10 Mistakes Even Smart Women Make in Job Interviews

Did you know the decision to hire is made in 15 minutes or less? Scary, huh? With that in mind, Cosmo surveyed human-resource pros to find out which job-hunting sins you may be making.

1. You Say, "This Is My Dream Job"
Even if you mean it, 69% of recruiters will brush that off as an insincere cliché they've heard way too many times before. Ban the bogus phrases "I think outside the box" and "I'm a team player" from your vocab as well, and come up with your own way of describing how much you rock.

Related: 10 Secrets Bosses Never Tell You...but Should


2. You Trash Your Old Boss
Even if your old supervisor makes The Office's Michael Scott seem like the smartest person alive, you'll be the one who looks bad if you dis him or your former company. It's kind of like the whole "I'm rubber and you're glue" concept you heard about in grade school. Ninety-five percent of recruiters agree that when you talk smack in an interview, it sticks with you.

3. You Ask About Vacation Days

You may think you're being straightforward by telling your potential boss that you and your BF have a nine-day trip to the Caribbean in the works. However, 69% of recruiters agree that the interview is a bad time to start asking when you can take time off from the job you don't even have.

Related: Are You Stuck in a Sucky Job?


4. You Drink Water or Coffee

You may think a jolt of java will give you a boost in an interview, but it turns out sipping anything (even water) is looked down on by 79% of recruiters. Quench your thirst and get your caffeine fix before you walk in the office.


5. You Look Hot

Ninety-five percent of recruiters say that dressing too sexy is a major turnoff. We're not telling you to channel Ugly Betty, but keep your three-inch stilettos, tight miniskirt, and cleavage-bearing cami in your closet. Opt for the buttoned-up look instead.

Related: How to Get Ahead Fast

6. You Talk Salary
Money is no doubt on your mind when you're searching for a new job. Uh, if you didn't need it, you wouldn't be there in the first place. However, only 15% of recruiters think the interview is a good time to talk about money. So unless the interviewer brings it up, wait until the offer is on the table before you discuss.

7. You Play It Too Cool
Having chemistry with your future boss is essential to acing the interview, but that doesn't mean you should let your guard down. Talking to a interviewer as you would to one of your friends is a major no-no for 83% of recruiters.

Related: How to Stay Positive at Work

8. You Wear Jeans

No matter how lax the dress code is in the office, you'll get the once-over if you walk in wearing denim. Ninety-five percent of recruiters expect you to don a more formal style for the interview. You can't go wrong with a simple black skirt and a cute jacket.

9. You Don't Turn Off Your Cell

An unexpected call or text message could kill your chance of moving up in your career. Job interviews don't begin with cheesy warnings to silence your phone like the movies, so make a mental note. Otherwise this little slipup will make a staggering 91% of recruiters forget about ever hiring you.

Related: How to Clean Up Your Online Rep


10. You're Late

It doesn't really matter if "OMG! My car broke down in the middle of a torrential downpour, traffic was horrible, and this office sure is hard to find." Recruiters have heard every excuse in the book, and 91% still consider not being on time to an interview a major no-no. If you're the type who is "always late," try to predict what could delay you (an addiction to the snooze button or bad sense of direction) and nip it in the bud before interview day.

What other interview mistakes have you encountered?

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.