Just So You Know:
When hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51% listed dressing inappropriately. 49% cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48% said appearing disinterested. Arrogance (44%), insufficient answers (30%) and not asking good questions (29%) were also top answers.
- Dress appropriately for the industry. It doesn’t hurt to be extra conservative.
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early (or earlier if the employer instructs for you to do so).
- Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. You never know who is asked for an opinion when the hiring decision is made.
- Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
- Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question. Don’t lie: If the conversation drifts to a topic you’re not knowledgeable about. Admit you don’t know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than babbling about something you don’t understand.
- Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
- After the interview, make notes right away so you don’t forget important details.
- Collect business cards, so that you can connect with the interviewer on professional social networking sites.
- Draft a Thank-You letter promptly and email a copy of it to your recruiter for an extra set of proof-reading eyes.
- Don’t make negative comments about previous employers (or others).
- Don’t chew gum, smell like smoke or wear too much perfume.
- Turn your phone off before the interview. Checking a text or silencing your phone during the interview looks unprofessional.
- Do some research: knowing small details about the company you want to work for shows your commitment and preparedness.
- Keep it professional: although interviewers often try to create a comfortable setting to ease the job seeker’s nerves, you shouldn’t forget you’re trying to get the job not make friends.
- Expect to hear questions such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” “Why do you want to work here?” “Tell me about yourself.” “Why did you leave your last job?” These open-ended questions are harder to answer than they sound, so think about your responses before the interview.
- Don’t take your parents or your pet (an assistance animal is not a pet in this circumstance), to an interview.
Make Sure to Ask Questions. Such As:
- What do you consider to be your firm’s most important assets?
- What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?
- What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?
- What types of skills do you not already have onboard that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
- What is the overall structure of the company?
- What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
- What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this position?
- Could you describe a typical day or week in this position?
- What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?
- How will I be evaluated and how often?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
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