Worst Interview Mistakes can mean the difference between getting the job of your dreams and getting passed over, if you commit them. You’ve decided it’s time for a new job; your resume is updated and absolutely perfect, you’ve filled out countless applications, and searched job boards for hours. Now you’ve landed an interview and you are terrified -- especially of committing the worst interview mistakes, the ones that could easily cause you to flub up and fail to get the job. An interview is a rare luxury for the job hunter and you’ve got to be sure you make the most of it! Be careful to avoid these 7 worst interview mistakes.
1. Showing up Late
What time you show up for your interview says a lot about you. You’ve only just walked in and already assumptions have been made and a label has been assigned. Showing up late screams “I don’t care,” and it make employers assume that if you can’t show up on time for an interview you won’t be on time for work either. It's easily the worst interview mistake you can possibly make, and will generally cause the hiring manager to cross you off the list before you've said a word.
2. Not Dressing the Part
Your appearance is crucial when you walk in the door for an interview. Before you’ve said word one, the interviewer is making mental notes. Jeans and t-shirts are never acceptable, and flip flops just make you look like you’re headed to the beach and could care less about whether you get the job or not. You want to look fresh, clean, and professional so that the interviewer is not too distracted by how you look to hear what you are saying.
3. Giving Vague Answers
If you can’t provide straight answers to the questions the interviewer is asking, you can rest assured you will not be called back. Avoid fidgeting and saying “um” every time you answer a question. It’s okay to be nervous but you need to stay focused. Maintain eye contact and answer all questions with confidence. If you don’t understand the question, it’s okay to say so. It's better to ask than to act clueless or vague, which is one of the worst interview mistakes a potential employee can make.
4. Talking about Salary Too Soon
If the first thing you do during an interview is start asking about pay and benefits, you may as well just show yourself out. Obviously these are important things to know, but during an interview you need to make the interviewer believe that you are there for the sole purpose of helping their company. Once the interviewer is done asking questions and asks if there is anything you would like to discuss, it’s alright to bring up what’s in it for you. Remember to use tact as you approach this subject; they realize that you need to know what the benefits are, but you will be judged according to how you ask about them.
5. Neglecting to Ask Questions
This is another common area where mistakes are made that end up in rejection. You need to ask questions in order to find out about the company you are interviewing for. Interviewers expect you to ask questions and it gives off the appearance that you truly care and want to know all that you can. When you don't ask questions, you're committing the worst interview mistake possible, because it suggests that you don't care anything about the job or the company.
6. Knowing Nothing about the Company
You don’t need to have the company’s profit and loss statement in hand when you arrive for an interview, but you should know the basics. If you have absolutely no idea what the company does, the interviewer is going to pick up on it and wonder why you are even there. Again, employers are expecting you to come in because you want to make their lives easier and being a part of their company is important to you. Do your homework before an interview and find out some general information about the company. Knowing facts like what they do, how long they’ve been in business, who the president is, etc., will make a better impression.
7. Lying to the Interviewer
The lies that you tell during an interview will almost always catch up with you because one of two things is bound to happen. First, the interviewer will know that you are lying because your response makes that clear and you have now been labeled as dishonest. Second, if you get the job, sooner or later your employer will find out that you really didn’t have all the skills you claimed to and you are put in an incredibly uncomfortable position. This is one of the worst interview mistakes you can make, because it will make the hiring manager wonder what other lies you might be telling.
Avoid these 7 worst interview mistakes and you will have a good chance at landing the position you are after. Remember to dress the part, be on time, and be prepared for questions that might come up. Steering clear of the worst interview mistakes presented here will go a long way toward securing your position, especially if you have an exemplary resume to go along with your stellar performance. When you commit the worst interview mistakes known to interviewers and hiring managers, you don't often get a second chance to prove yourself. What other tips would you give someone preparing for a job interview?
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