First impressions are everything in the interview world. Even if your resume is overloaded with appropriate experience and training, these simple but jeopardizing mistakes can squash your chances at landing your dream job.
Don’t be late
- Showing up late to an interview is the number one no-no. It gives the recruiter the impression that your time management skills are not on point. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that you are not considerate of their time. As far as the recruiter is concerned, if you become an employee, they have many more mornings of you running late to look forward to. There are a few easy things you can do to insure you are never late. Try finding the office the day before your actual interview. This prevents you getting lost the day of. Also, you should leave 15-20 minutes before Google Maps tell you to. This gives you leeway to run into traffic and such. It’s always better to be early than late!
Make sure to do the appropriate research beforehand
- Learning a little about the company (and the position) you are interviewing for is always a good idea. It’s quite critical, actually, to have significant knowledge about the company in order to seem suitable for the position. You can discreetly input the new information you have learned into some of your answers during the interview. That way it sounds more natural, gives your answers more meaning, and doesn’t seem like you are trying too hard to display your new-found knowledge.
NEVER speak negatively about previous employers or co-workers
- Obviously, you are searching for a new job for a reason, and it very well may be because you are unhappy with your current boss. With that being said, your possible future employer does NOT need to hear you trash him/her. The only thing that helps you gain is a reputation for negativity … and probably not the job.
Don’t discuss pay and benefits of the job
- There is a time and place to discuss salary, and the first interview is definitely NOT it. However, every company does things differently. So if (in the rare occasion) the recruiter brings up pay or benefits, it is absolutely fine to go along with it. Otherwise, bringing up money can imply that you are more focused on compensation than actually being passionate about the career.
Be careful not to ramble … but don’t be too vague either
- There is a fine line between not saying enough and saying TOO much. A good recruiter will have many direct questions ready for you, and you should be ready with direct answers. Being evasive and dancing around the question can feel like you are misleading them. Of course, recruiters are well aware that rambling can be a symptom of nerves, so be sure to get your words together in your head before you start talking. A second or two of silence is better than nonsensical banter. On the other end of the spectrum, be sure to follow up your occasional one-word answers with a reason, example, or a viewpoint.
Staying away from these vital mistakes can help your personality shine in a positive way during the interview. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so make it a remarkable one and land your dream job!