If you’re just entering the professional realm or a new industry, you may be worried about making a good first impression once you apply for a position. Even for a seasoned pro, job interviews can be pretty intimidating. While the opportunities for employment you encounter will all differ, there are certain missteps you’ll want to avoid at all costs. If you commit one of these seven deadly job interview sins, it’s likely you won’t get a callback or a job offer — even if your skills are a perfect fit.
- Dressing Inappropriately: For both temp jobs and permanent positions, the way you dress at an interview can make a strong impact. The company and position itself should be a good indicator of the clothes you wear to the interview. You might not dress as formally for an interview with a casual startup as you would for a Fortune 500 company, but you should still look polished and put-together. Make sure your clothes fit you well and are free of wrinkles and dirt. You can also consult further with your staffing agency on your interview ensemble.
- Failure to Research: No matter what, you cannot “wing” your job interview. You need to prepare ahead of time and research the company in question. At the very least, you must be familiar with their history, where they’re located, their central mission, and their branding (Facebook and LinkedIn can be good resources). To make the most of the employment opportunities that come your way, you should practice by answering some of the most common questions that may pop up. That way, nothing will take you by surprise
- .No Confidence: There’s no doubt about it — interviews can be nerve-racking. But you can’t let your nerves get the best of you. While you shouldn’t put on airs, there is something to be said for the “fake it until you make it” mentality. Connect with interviewers by confidently shaking their hands, maintaining eye contact, and staying engaged. Don’t slouch or fidget, but do remember to breathe! Remember that you were called in for an interview for a reason and that they want you to succeed.
- Social Media Snafus: In the digital age, candidates must expect their social media accounts to be scrutinized. In fact, 93% of recruiters look at candidates’ accounts and employers will, too. Go through all your social media accounts and privacy settings before you start the job hunt. You should still have a social media presence, though; sometimes, employers won’t even call candidates in for an interview if they can’t find them on social media! Just make sure nothing inappropriate can easily be found.
- Poor punctuality: If you’re late to your interview, you’ve already failed to make a good first impression. You might not think a few minutes will make much of a difference, but it automatically shows a company that you lack time management skills and that you don’t respect their efforts. But don’t arrive for your interview too early, either. As a general rule, aim to arrive five to 10 minutes beforehand.
- Lack of Professionalism: When you have opportunities for employment, you need to put your best foot forward. That means you should refrain from using your phone at any time during your interview (put it on silent or turn it off). Don’t bring a coffee or drink into your interview, either. You should always present previous employers in a good light, even if your past experiences were less than stellar. Bad-mouthing another company will NOT do you any favors.
- TMI: You won’t have many opportunities for employment if you make interviews too personal. While employers do want to get to know you, you should not bring up personal issues, politics, or other divisive topics. You should also steer clear of financial subjects (including potential salary, benefits, etc.) for a given job until you receive an offer. Otherwise, an employer may think you’re only interested in the money, rather than the job itself.
- When you’re in need of opportunities for employment and need to nail the interview, our staffing agencies are here to help. Contact us today to get started.