What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever said or done during a job interview? Are you aware of the top mistakes that are most common during the interview? You may be doing things you’re completely unaware of, and this could be hurting your chances to get the job you really want. Think you know how to ace a job interview like a pro? You could still stand to benefit from the downfall of others who have come before you. Here are the mistakes you should avoid, and what you can do to improve.
- Too little or too much confidence
Most people are aware that they must appear confident during a job interview, but did you know that it’s possible to be overconfident? If you’re not confident enough, you appear unsure of yourself, and your potential employers will be looking for people who know they can do well in the position. Having too much confidence can also be a big problem, because you can appear too cocky or sure of yourself, rather than letting your work and experience speak for you. It’s important to find that happy medium.
- Talking about how they can benefit you
Many make the easy mistake of focusing too heavily on what the prospective company will do for their career, as opposed to highlighting what they can individually bring to the table. The company doesn’t need to know what they can do for you; they need to know what you can do for them. Impress them, but do it in an honest way.
- Not dressing appropriately for the job
Do some research online for proper attire to wear to the office if you aren’t quite familiar with office etiquette and standards. Have you ever heard the saying “Dress for the job you want”? That applies here. Personal grooming is a must for any job interview, as well as dressing like a sharp, professional, sophisticated individual. It’s okay to show off a personal sense of style, but do it in a tasteful way. High cut skirt lines for a female or jeans for a male are never a great idea. Something as simple as this can make the difference between getting hired and getting dismissed completely by your potential employer.
- Being pretentious or fake
By all means impress the interviewer, but by no means do it in a fake way. Playing up your strengths is essential, but be genuine about it. Most employers can see through BS pretty easily, and once they detect you’re being fake, they won’t want to hire you. They’ll want people on their team who are trustworthy and straightforward. In this case, it pays to be yourself.
At the same time, being yourself doesn’t mean making the interviewer your best friend and telling them everything. Know what is appropriate to say and what isn’t. One of the most common mistakes people make in a job interview is being far too familiar. This shows up in the form of a bad joke in poor taste, or talking too much about family or problems that are going on in the person’s life. Remember, you want the interviewer to like you, but you don’t need to tell them your entire life story.
- Being unprepared in the interview
This can absolutely kill your chances to be hired. Remember to do a couple of things in order to prep for the interview. The first is to research the company you’re applying for. This way, you can bring up positive points about the company during the interview to prove that you’re prepared. You’ll also be ready to answer the question, “So why do you want to work for this company in particular?” If possible, research in depth. Sometimes you can even find interview questions they may ask that others have made available online. Some even post about their experiences with the entire interview process. This gives you incredibly valuable insight into how everything will go, once you get the interview. The more prepared you are, the better. The second thing you’ll need to do to is to think of answers you will have for challenging questions they could ask. If you already have an answer in mind, it should be able to flow naturally during the interview. You’ll also want to come prepared with specific questions of your own.
- Arriving too late
This shouldn’t have to be emphasized, but if you have a problem with time management, get it in check at least for the interview. There’s nothing worse than arriving late; it demonstrates an unprofessional attitude as well as disrespect to your potential employers. Arriving too early is also not great, as that can make you come off as too eager, or desperate even. Aim to be there no more than 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
- Talking negatively
It’s okay to be honest if you’ve had a bad experience in the past with a former job, but find a way to spin it in a positive way. Employers know that bad situations happen, but it’s how you deal with it that matters. Make sure to communicate to them how you were able to turn it around. And whatever you do, don’t ever bad mouth former employers or former colleagues. This makes you appear self centered and even childish.
No matter what you do, be prepared to be professional, put together, confident, and remember to have a good time during the interview. Your potential employers will want to see how you can contribute to a positive work environment not only with your work ethic, but your personality as well. Let it shine through, and get that job you really deserve.