In today’s job market, even getting accepted for an interview can be seen as an achievement. If you want to make that final leap from job hunt to actually getting the job, you’ll need to ace the interview, however. These are the top 10 interview mistakes you’ll need to avoid if you want to make a good impression.
Top 10 Interview Mistakes!
Leaving your mobile phone on
Sod’s law states that if you forget to turn your mobile phone off it will start ringing at the most important point of your interview. This is one of the worst interview mistakes you can make!
Answering your mobile phone
You might just about be able to recover from a ringing phone if you profusely apologise. If you really want to blow your chances answer it instead and say, ‘Hey – no nothing important, just an interview’.
If you can’t even arrive on time for your interview how is your employer supposed to believe that you’ll arrive on time for work? Plan to arrive for your interview with plenty of time to spare, taking into account any traffic you may encounter on the route. If you’re not familiar with where the job interview is taking place you might even want to locate it beforehand – getting lost on the day will get you in a fluster before you’ve even had a chance to shake hands.
Interviews make people nervous, and when some people get nervous they reach for a cigarette. However bad your nicotine cravings get, lighting up in the interview room is unlikely to do you any favours, without even taking into account the fact its illegal. Taking a puff on an e-cigarette is also strongly discouraged.
Bringing your child
If your babysitter cancels at the last minute you might consider bringing your child to the interview with you. While answering your interviewer’s questions whilst disciplining your son or daughter might seem like the perfect way to demonstrate your multi-tasking skills, you’re likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps it’s time to consider arranging a back-up babysitter or child minder?
Presenting yourself poorly
Everybody knows the importance of preparing for potential interview questions, but if you don’t also look prepared your interviewer probably won’t be able to concentrate on your answers. So men, make sure you shave, and women brush back your hair. Don’t make crucial interview fashion faux pas! Make sure you don’t arrive smelling of smoke or body odour, and of course, make sure you’re dressed appropriately. If you come across like you’re well prepared the interviewer will naturally want to assume that you are.
Excusing yourself for a toilet break
As an adult it’s expected that you can control your bladder for the duration of an interview, or at least have the sense to go to the toilet before the start of one. If you absolutely must excuse yourself make sure that you’re tactful about it – as telling the person in charge of hiring that you need to go the toilet is unlikely to create the best impression.
Calling your interviewer by the wrong name
Being able to greet your interviewer by their name when you meet them is a simple way to make a great first impression, but if you find yourself unable to remember for sure what their name is don’t risk getting it wrong. While it might seem like a good idea to write their name on the palm of your hand so you can’t forget, make sure that it doesn’t get clammy, or your interviewer might find they have a weird smudge after shaking your hand, leading them to wonder why you’re such a mess. This is up there with the top interview mistakes to make, so be careful!
Avoiding eye contact, and exercising generally bad body language
If you want to appear like you couldn’t care less about getting the job or not then by all means avoid eye contact, slouch on your chair and occasionally crack your knuckles. This will give your interviewer the impression that you don’t really want to be there and will help make sure you don’t get the job. If on the other hand you want to show your genuine interest in the position make sure you sit up straight, with your feet on the floor and engage your interviewer with appropriate levels of eye contact.
Acting too desperate
Even if you’ve been job searching unsuccessfully for a while now and are feeling desperate for employment, that’s no reason to let your interviewer know just how desperate you are. The smell of desperation is very off-putting (it’s worse even than stale smoke), so always present yourself as confidently as possible to give yourself the best chance of making a positive impression.