For many job seekers, obtaining an interview with a promising company is an uphill battle. However, your hard work and attention to detail shouldn’t stop once an interview date has been scheduled. Unfortunately, many job hunters enter the interview room nonchalantly unprepared. To land your next dream job, you should avoid the following 10 worst mistakes job seekers make during an interview.
One of the most common errors people make during an interview is to dress inappropriately. The interview room is not the right place to debut your trendy animal print blouse or red pair of slacks. When choosing clothes for this important event, always go with a conservative ensemble. Tailored black, navy, or gray suits are usually great options. In addition to clothing, you should also pick shoes in neutral hues. Your canary yellow heels might be stylish, but you should save them for a dinner date instead of an interview.
Inquiring about Benefits
Understandably, before accepting a job position, you want to learn more about the prospective benefits a company offers. However, inquiring about benefits too soon will make you appear unprofessional. Your prospective employer might start to believe that you will be more interested in collecting a paycheck than completing your task satisfactorily. Consider inquiring about benefits during a second interview or during salary negotiations.
Glancing at Watch
If you’re like some people, you’re always preoccupied with what time it is. You might look at your watch scores of times during each day. When you’re nervous, you may even glance at your timepiece more than usual. During an interview, looking at a watch is often tempting. After all, many people gauge how well an interview went by how long it lasted. However, during this important session, you should avoid glancing at your watch even once. Doing so might give your employer the wrong impression. He or she might wonder if you’re ready to leave. Your prospective employer may also start to suspect that you’re bored with the proceedings. If you will be tempted to look at your watch, leave it in your vehicle.
Leaving Cellphone On
Like glancing at your watch, looking at your cellphone can be a huge problem. Prospective employers usually view this activity as highly unprofessional. Before entering an interview room, always turn your cellphone off. Better yet, leave it in your automobile with your watch.
When some people get nervous, they unconsciously reach for a stick of gum. For these people, the constant chewing motion has a soothing effect on their frayed nerves. However, chewing gum should always be avoided during an interview. This activity makes the job applicant look unprofessional, unconcerned, and uncouth.
Arriving to an interview late is like a death sentence. Regardless of your performance during the interview, you will probably not get the job. Before a scheduled interview, commute to the interview site during the same time of the day that the interview will take place on. After you determine how long your commute will be, add an additional fifteen to thirty minutes to this time. The extra time will give you a cushion for unexpected emergencies on the day of the interview.
Failing to Ask Questions
At the end of the vast majority of interviews, the interviewer will ask the job applicant if he or she has any questions. Because you know that this prompt is coming, failing to respond with any questions makes you appear unprepared and nonchalant. Before an interview, make a list of around three to five questions to ask. Any of your questions that have been answered during the interview should be marked off your list.
Asking Too Many Questions
While failing to ask questions is a problem, asking too many questions is a mistake as well. Your prospective employer will think that you’re trying to control the interview. Also, the interviewer may have several interviews to complete in a particular day. You don’t want to appear rude. Try to keep your list to three to five questions during the first interview. You can always ask more questions later during a second interview or salary negotiations.
Speaking Too Informally
If you are a frequent author of short text messages or social media posts, you should be careful not to speak too informally during an interview. Nowadays, people’s spoken language is seemingly becoming more casual than ever. During an interview, remember to speak in complete sentences and avoid common text messaging and online phrases.
While you might be tempted to say something negative about a previous employer, resist the urge to do so. Being overly negative about anything or anyone in particular will make you appear like a hard person to please. Your prospective employer might worry that you won’t be able to get along with the other employees in the company.
A sought after job interview can either affect the rest of your life positively or negatively. To showcase your best self, strive to avoid the aforementioned 10 worst mistakes job seekers make during an interview. Your future career may depend on it.
Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, she was employee #7 at Rent.com, where she first worked with ZipRecruiter’s founders. Her philosophy on human resources infuses the company culture: “To create an open, enriching environment by hiring the best, keeping the rules to a minimum and making it fun.” She’s married and has three active children to whom who she enjoys playing chauffeur.