Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top 10 Interview Mistakes

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1. Not Knowing the Job
Usually one of the first questions you'll be asked is "What do you know about the company?" or "Why do you want this job?"
Show them that you've done your homework, and you know what you're trying to get. Research the company, what they do, how they do it differently from others - what makes them different. Be sure to show your interviewers that you know this, and you've done your homework.
Most of this information can be found on the company website. If not, call the company and set up an informational interview before you apply.

2. Not Being Enthusiastic
You have to show your interviewers that you want the job, without coming across as desperate (or crazy!). Remain positive, and upbeat. Express that you're thankful for the interviewers taking the time to interview you, and don't forget to thank them again at the end of the interview.

3. Not Being Professional
While you should be enthusiastic and show personality, be sure to remain professional at all times. Avoid too much personal information or questions. Remember that an interview is a formal hiring process. There are motions that everyone has to go through, and staying professional is part of the game.
Staying professional also helps you stay on track with the interview, and avoids getting distracted. The employer wants to learn specific information in a limited amount of time. Help them do this.

4. Being Negative About Former Employers
Never, never, never badmouth a former boss. Even if they were an idiot, a moron and completely deserve it.
You don't want your interviewer to think that you might do the same about them. It's a small world - there's a chance your interviewer could know (or worse - be friends with) your former boss.

5. Being Too Late or Too Early
Arrive on time for the interview, with between 5 and 10 minutes to spare. Showing up late is rude, and will keep the interviewers waiting. It shows that you are unreliable, and will negatively affect your chances of getting hired.
Being too early isn't much better either. It may show that you are desperate, or have way too much time on your hands.

6. Not Being Nice to Everyone
Be nice to everyone at the company - from the doorman to the receptionist to the boss. From the moment you walk through the door, you are being evaluated. The interviewer may even ask the receptionist or doorman for their opinion of you after you leave.

7. Dressing Inappropriately
Make sure that your style of dress matches the job you're interviewing for. If it's a professional job, or one in the corporate world, be sure to wear a suit. If it's for a summer job, or a much more casual job, be sure to wear something less formal, but still neat.
If in doubt, visit the company/employer and take a look at what the other employees are wearing. Dress a little more formal than this.

8. Talking Too Much or Not Enough
An interview should be a conversation, not just you talking the entire time. Be sure to listen well, allow the interviewer to finish, and answer the questions completely and concisely. More than a few minutes on one question and the interviewer may start to get bored or annoyed.

9. Not Asking Question
Interviewers usually leave time at the end of the interview for you to ask questions. Have a few question for them, even if there's nothing you really want to know. It shows that you are interested and actually care about the job. Not having questions can indicate disinterest, and definitely won't help your chances.
Avoid overly personal questions, or jobs about salary or wages. These are things that will be discussed after you receive an offer.

10. Not Following Up
Follow up an interview with a thank you note (either a letter or preferably, an email). Reiterate your interest in the position and working for the company.
Keep it simple and short - don't talk about how you think the interview went. This will leave a good impression with the employer, and may just be enough to sway a decision in your favor.
By avoiding these mistakes, you'll be well on your way to acing an interview, and landing your next job!


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