As a job seeker, it’s hard to imagine anything more stressful than an interview. You can do your homework about the hiring company and feel good about your skills. But get into a room (or onto a video conference) with an HR manager who has power over your professional future, and the nerves will take over. Which is where mistakes can be made.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to make mistakes without even realizing it— and many of them are more common than you might think. Take the time to prepare before your interview so you don’t have to stress out about potential blunders.
The following five mistakes are common – and can be easily fixed – so you can show your potential employer what a great new hire you would be.
1. Talking Negatively About your Former Employer
When you say something negative about your former company, this makes you look angry, bitter and like someone who could not get along in that environment. The interviewer will wonder if you’ll have the same problems again if they hire you. More importantly, it makes you look disloyal, which is a definite “no–no” in an interview.
2. Being Late
Everyone knows that first impressions are very important in landing a job. Whether your meeting is in person or online, ”running late” not only suggests poor time management skills, but a lack of respect for the company, the position, and even your interviewer. Go the extra length to make sure that you aren’t late. Budget your time so that you’re ready for the interview at least ten minutes early.
3. Not Doing Your Homework
Don’t let your potential employer stump you with the question, “What do you know about this company?” Background information including company history, locations, divisions and a mission statement are available on most company websites. You can also visit online sites such as LinkedIn. Review the info ahead of time, then print out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory.
4. Checking your Phone
This comes out of the “Rudeness 101” playbook. Before your interview starts, silence your phone. Texting during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it’s a pretty clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority. To resist the temptation to check your phone, stow it in your bag – and turn it off.
5. Talking Too Much
There’ s nothing much worse for a hiring manager than interviewing someone who goes on and on. Keep your answers succinct, and to-the-point. Don’t get sidetracked and start talking about your personal life—your spouse, home life, or children are not topics you should delve into. No matter how warm, welcoming, or genial your interviewer may be, an interview is a professional situation—not a personal one.
A Final Word
A job interview – especially during our current economic climate – is something to take very seriously. A professional staffing agency can help ensure that you’re prepared to meet with your potential new boss. However, once the interview begins, you’re on your own. Mastering the above elements can ensure your success when interviewing and make you more likely to get the job.
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Visit our website and learn how our team of experienced professionals can help you land that next great position.