You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And with something as important as a job interview, here are some tips to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Following are the Top 10 things not to do in a job interview.
1. Don’t be late – You can never make another first impression. Arrive at least five minutes early, you may be asked to fill out additional paperwork upon arrival.
2. Don’t dress inappropriately – Always dress for success. If you’re interviewing for a professional position, you most certainly want to wear a suit.
3. Don’t chew gum – If you’re worried about fresh breath, eat a mint or spray some breath freshener before you enter your interview.
4. Don’t forget copies of your resume and a list of references – Having several fresh, updated versions of your resume and references is handy, especially if more than one person interviews you.
5. Don’t fail to prepare – Always enter an interview with knowledge of the company. Many times companies will ask what you know about them. Be sure you have read up on company history, current successes and more.
6. Don’t bring your cell phone, food or beverage – Leave the cell phone off, and food and coffee in the car. No interview is informal enough that you should feel comfortable sipping a drink or answering your cell phone.
7. Don’t talk too much – Give concise answers to the questions you’re given, but make sure that you answer in enough detail. Many times an employer will take notes and pause in between questions and that doesn’t mean you need to fill the silence with nonsense chatter.
8. Don’t badmouth past employers – You never know who your employer knows. Your former employer could be his next-door neighbor, best friend or networking partner. Be diplomatic when speaking about previous positions, even if they ended badly. Put a positive spin on it by stressing what you learned as opposed to how much you hated your boss.
9. Don’t forget to follow up – Never under-estimate the power of a traditional thank-you note. Potential employers appreciate the follow up.
10. Don’t fail to express your interest in the position – If you really want the job, let your interviewer know. There’s nothing like hearing that a candidate is excited about the position. That excitement carries over when you accept the position and your employer will sense and recognize your enthusiasm.