Going on job interviews can be intimidating and nerve-racking, we know this. We have all heard 100 times what you SHOULD be doing in a job interview from asking the right questions, to researching the company first, to smiling and just being yourself! But let’s take a look at the Top 10 Interview Fails You Should AVOID at all costs:
1. Showing up late
Hello?? It’s me…and I’m 15 min late. This is an obvious no-no. You might as well written your own rejection letter in the car, gave it to yourself as soon as you walked in the door, and then thanked the receptionist for her time. Your interviewer may not show they are annoyed and unimpressed – but I assure you they are. It’s 2016! If you still haven’t figured out how to get to an appointment on time, you’re doing it wrong.
2. Show up early
Showing up more than 15-20 min before an interview is saying 1 of 2 things – I forgot when my interview was, so I’m here now? OR I know I’m early but I just want to sit and wait an hour because I have nothing else better to do. If you pull up to your job interview unnecessarily early because you were worried about traffic or a natural disaster happening on the highway, try doing some deep breathing exercises in the car to help calm your nerves. This gives you time to collect yourself, research the company more on your phone, or check your teeth for food.
3. Dressing WRONG
…or smelly. I assure you that if you can smell your own bad breath or body odor the person sitting next to you can, along with everyone else. A nice clean appearance will show professionalism and that you are actually taking the interview seriously. Showing up in a tuxedo and bow-tie – now that makes an impression! (But not the one you’re going for) Dressing business casual will be your best bet.
4. Chewing gum
Don’t do it. If you are worried about your breath, suck on a mint on the way there or buy some breath spray. Chewing, sucking, or having anything in your mouth when you’re talking to people is NOT OK. If the interviewer asks if you would like something to drink and you have to put your gum on the side of the cup, that is a FAIL on your part.
5. Bringing a friend or relative
If Ashley has to drive you there, please leave her in the car! You shouldn’t need someone there to hold your hand. Having your mom walk you to the door and kiss you on the forehead as you part ways, is not okay and hasn’t been since kindergarten. You are out in the big wide world now and your potential employer wants to know you’re serious.
6. No Practice
Do you think Taylor Swift gets on stage to perform “shake it off” without memorizing the lyrics? NO WAY JOSE. Practice is essential when it comes to the interview process. Compile a list of as many possible questions you could face, and write answers for every single one of them. Trust me, having a stumble free interview is a dream! You will feel more confident going in to the interview, which in turn will help calm your nerves and answer questions intelligently.
7. “My biggest weakness is I’m too organized”
No. That is not a weakness. The interviewer isn’t asking you the “what is your weakness” question because they expect you to be like Mary Poppins (practically perfect in every way). They want to see that you can identify where your weak points are and that you seek to improve them. No one is perfect and anyone who says they are is an automatic liar as well as completely delusional.
8. Asking too many questions
Asking questions at the end of the interview is great! But do not go overboard. The last thing the interviewer wants is to feel interrogated. You won’t earn any extra brownie points for incessant questioning, and if anything you’ll just annoy the interviewer. And let’s not forgot the worst question of all time to ask, “So when do I get paid?”. Keep the questions to the most important. If you end up getting the job you’ll have plenty of time to figure out where the snack bar is and if National Ice Cream Day is considered payed time off.
9. Handshake FAIL
There is nothing worse than the moment you reach out to shake someone’s hand, to be greeted by a cold, damp, limp appendage. I’m not saying this will hinder your job interview, but it will definitely NOT HELP. Your handshake doesn’t need to be able to crush rocks, but a solid handshake will show confidence and not repulse the other person. Ladies I’m talking to you too…no limp handshakes!
10. Checking your phone
We are in the technology era where everyone has their phones glued to their hands just waiting to hear that next satisfying *ding* showing that Danny commented on your newest selfie. We know how important you are, so there is no need for you to put your cell phone on the table or on your lap during an interview. You can be away from your phone for the duration of the interview, it won’t kill you. Show that you are actually present. Be old school and chat it up with the receptionist before your interview or pick up a company pamphlet to read rather than having your head buried in your phone.