Preparing for an Interview? Don’t Make These 5 Common Interview Mistakes
In today’s tough economy, landing a new job may be difficult to come by. Yet, with perseverance and determination, it is likely that you can at least get your foot in the door for an interview. Once you are there, though, it is essential that you proceed with caution – especially if this is your dream job.
It’s easy to get nervous, and maybe even a little tongue tied, when trying to stand out from other interviewees and grab hold of a new – and likely better – employment situation. With this in mind, be sure that you don’t make any of these common, but potentially lethal, interview mistakes.
1. Arriving Late
With today’s protocol of having a smart phone nearby at all times, there is no reason not to enter the location information for the interview into your phone in order to determine exactly where the company is located, as well as to determine any potential traffic delays along the route.
If time allows, you may even want to make a trial run to the location on the day or evening before the interview. This can help you to get a clear picture of the building location and parking situation, too.
2. Getting the Interviewer or Company Name Incorrect
In any situation, regardless of whether it is business or social, a person’s name is precious to him or her. Therefore, it is a must that you remember the name of the interviewer – and use it frequently throughout your conversation.
The same holds true for the name of the company in which you are interviewing. While you may have sent out numerous resumes to a variety of companies, forgetting where you are will have a definite negative effect on your chances of being hired.
3. Being Too Vague or Sounding Rehearsed
If you’ve been on interviews in the past, it is likely that you will start to hear some of the same – or at least very similar – questions being asked. Although this may be the case, it is important that your answers not sound too vague or rehearsed.
Try instead to sound conversational – as if you were having a chat with a friend or colleague. Doing so will not only make you appear more confident, but also more likeable, upping your chances of being offered a position.
4. Not Asking Questions
Even though the interviewer will be asking you questions about yourself in order to make a better determination of your qualifications for the job, it is equally important that you ask questions of him or her as well. In doing so, you will be showing your genuine interest in the job and the company.
In order to help yourself prepare, check out the company’s website and/or any articles that have been written about the firm recently. Did the business recently expand or invent a new product? Has the company’s name recently changed? These can be great catalysts for starting a conversation and proving that you want to know more about your potential future employer.
5. Leaving Your Cell Phone On
While your smart phone’s GPS may have helped you to find the company – and arrive on time for your interview – before you actually enter the interviewer’s office, make sure that you have turned your phone volume to silent. Or better yet, turn off your phone completely. During the time that you are in your interview, you will want to keep your focus 100% on the task at hand.
This means that the text from your best friend or the most recent Facebook status update will need to take a back seat. Few things can hinder your chances of getting a job offer more than a ringing cell phone in your pocket during an interview.
One Other Essential Consideration
Once the interview has concluded – regardless of whether you feel that you aced it or blew it – be sure to follow up with a Thank You. Today, the world has become a lot less formal. But that doesn’t mean that a little note of thanks can’t still go a long way.
Sending just a simple email thanking the interviewer for his or her time – as well as providing a short recap of the interview highlights – can show that you are on the ball. It may also spark positive reminders of why you are the best person for the job. Sending a follow up note can also have the added effect of showing the interviewer how you will likely treat their company’s customers and clients in the future.