Sure, you've been told what to do during an interview. Maintain good posture. Have a strong handshake. Be timely when arriving to your interview. Wear appropriate clothing. But have you ever been specifically told what not to do during the interview process?
Sometimes it's important to be aware of the interview "no-nos." "If you know what not to do, you will decrease the probability of making choices during an interview that will likely prevent you from getting hired," explained Brent Peterson, PMP, MS, MBA, creator and president, Interview Angel. "You do not have to conduct a perfect interview to get a job offer, but you do need to avoid some fatal mistakes."
So what should you not do during an interview? Read on to avoid some specific interview faux pas and help yourself get that dream job.
Don't Arrive Too Early
Punctuality is an important trait to have, especially when it comes arriving on time for your job interview. However, can you ever arrive at an interview too early? Our experts say "yes."
"Think about it. If the interview is scheduled for 10 a.m. and you arrive at 9:15 a.m., the receptionist will call and announce your arrival, or the interviewer will see you are very early and feel pressured to begin the interview early," noted Julie Bauke, owner, Congruity Consulting LLC, and author of Stop Peeing on Your Shoes: Avoiding the Seven Mistakes That Screw Up Your Job Search. "When I was in a hiring position, it would mildly annoy me that the person apparently couldn't tell time. It could also say, 'I'm desperate or I don't have anything else to do.'"
Being "on time" for an interview means being 10-15 minutes early maximum. Bauke advised if you do arrive to the facility early, sit in your car and review your résumé. If you're driving in an unfamiliar area, do a dry run a few days before your interview to find the location.
Don't Dish on Your Current Employer
It's pretty much inevitable: the interviewer will ask you about your current job and why you want to leave it. This is not the time to talk about your hateful boss, your lazy coworkers or your awful hours.
"You should not say anything negative or personal about your current employer. Keep all comments professional and positive, regardless of how you may feel," Peterson advised.
Bauke noted it's OK to say your current job isn't a good fit for you, but don't go into too much negative detail. "It may be 100 percent true your current job is a place full of crazies, but your interviewer has no context of that. He may be thinking, 'Maybe she is the crazy one," she said. "Don't put him in the position to decide who to believe."
Don't Wing It
Not preparing for an interview is a huge "don't." Always remember to review your résumé and think of answers to possible interview questions (such as, "Tell me about yourself? Why did you leave your last job? What are your strengths and weaknesses?"). It's a great idea to have a family member, friend or even a career coach give you a mock interview to prepare.
|BE RESPECTFUL: Make sure you turn off your cell phone befor your interview and follow these other tips. ADVANCE photo
"Don't walk in cold. That's a guarantee you won't get the job," stressed Mitch Beck, president, Crossroads Consulting LLC.
Beck also noted knowing information about the place where you're interviewing is crucial. "Companies like to know you did the research. Google the company, read articles, look up financials and their stock ticker, if that's available. Even Google the gal who's going to interview you," he said. "People think they have to think on the fly [during an interview]. If you've already done your research, there's nothing to think about than to answer the questions as best as you possibly can."
"Even in a strong economy, there is competition for job opportunities. Today, competition for jobs is intense," Peterson told ADVANE. "If you wing it and an equally qualified candidate thoroughly prepares for the interview, who do you think will get hired?"
Another good reason not to wing it is the interviewer might assume you'll "wing it" while doing your job as well, Bauke added.
Don't Be a Blabbermouth
It's easy to understand why people might talk too much during an interview. For some people, excessive talking is a sign of nervousness. That being said, try not to do it.
"The interviewer has a lot he wants to learn about you--let him ask the questions he wants to ask," Bauke said. "Answer the questions and shut up. The interviewer may be thinking you will also talk non-stop on the job."
If nerves are your problem, remember the interviewer is probably just as nervous as you are, but she just isn't showing it, Beck said.
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