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11 Interview Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Acing the interview is a crucial step in bagging that dream job, are you making any of these common mistakes?

 

1. Bringing a coffee. Don’t arrive to an interview with a cup of coffee in hand. It looks unprofessional, untidy and casual.

2. Smoking. Non smokers can smell it a mile away, it comes across as untidy and makes them question how many breaks you'll be taking in a day if you got the job.

3. Checking your phone while you wait. When you arrive in reception don't play with your phone! The receptionist is a crucial part of the interview process, be engaged and friendly with whoever greets you as the first thing an interviewer does when you walk out the door is ask the receptionist what they thought of you.

4. Being too early. Don't arrive to your interview too early! Arrive no earlier than 7 minutes before. If you arrive excessively early it shows that you can't follow instructions and could put pressure on the interviewer to come out and see you when they're not ready for you. If you do arrive early be prepared to wow the receptionist.

5. Looking shabby. Sad but true – poor personal appearance is the number one reason why a qualified candidate doesn’t get the job according to a recent survey of hiring managers. Make sure you dress appropriately, don’t spray on too much cologne and don’t chew gum. Wear an outfit that you feel comfortable in which is business smart. Iron your clothes and leave your Hawaiian shirt at the beach.

6. Negative body language. Crossed arms, lack of eye contact and turning your body away from your interviewer are great ways to make them NOT buy into you. Be warm, open, smile and when possible subtly mirror their body language and animation in their voice (or lack thereof).

7. Rambling. When answering questions give clear and concise answers. Listen to the question and answer it instead of answering something completely different and going on a long ramble. If you haven’t given your answer in 10-20 seconds you’ve lost your audience.

8. Being rude. Speak kindly about your previous and current employer. Slating people or a company does not look professional and does not help people warm to you.

9. Using perfume or cologne. It’s great to smell good but consider how your interviewer may feel about the scent you’re wearing. Smell is the strongest memory trigger and you may happen to be wearing a scent which triggers something negative in the interviewers mind. Fresh breath is important, have a mint beforehand but do not chew gum!

10. Being liberal with lies. Skilled recruiters can smell B.S. a mile away so don’t even bother. If you were let go from your last role, say so. They will do references on you and find out the truth anyway and you will damage your reputation. Don’t inflate past job titles or education, it’s just not smart.

11. Not following up. Sending a thank you note or email really seals the deal and it's remarkable how many candidates DON'T do this. Even if you're not interested, or don't get the job the interviewer will always remember your politeness.