When you step into any job interview, it's important that you make a good impression on the hiring manager. This brief encounter provides the opportunity for a potential employer to judge your appearance, personality and qualifications and access your ability to do the job, so it's imperative that you let your best self shine. Consider these common mistakes that job seekers make to ensure you ace your next job interview.
1. Showing Up Late
Never arrive late to a job interview; it shows disrespect for the hiring manager's time and displays a lack of professionalism. Make sure you know where you're going on interview day, and try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
2. Not Introducing Yourself
Develop an elevator pitch prior to your job interview, and practice it until it sounds natural. This gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself, demonstrate your experience, show off your skills and brag about your achievements. Try to keep your speech to about 30 seconds, but make sure it's unique and memorable.
3. Not Doing Your Research
Always research the potential employer before you go to any interview. Check out the company website, read about its history, study the mission, and learn more about products and services. Take a look at the LinkedIn profiles of some current employees to try to decipher the company culture.
4. Saying Too Much
While you do want to answer the hiring manager's questions completely, you should also be careful that you're not too open with your responses. Don't reveal too much about your personal life, and never say anything negative about a former employer, boss or co-worker.
5. Dressing Inappropriately
Potential employers judge you based on how you look at a job interview, so make sure you look polished and professional. Keep perfume or cologne to a minimum, and avoid unnecessary accessories, such as sunglasses or Bluetooth headsets.
6. Displaying Poor Body Language
Be aware of what your body language says about you during the job interview. Avoid slouching in your seat, yawning while the hiring manager is talking or fidgeting with a pen, as these actions make you seem bored or distracted.
7. Not Asking Questions
Always take the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, as saying you have no questions makes you seem disinterested in the position. Jot down a few insightful questions ahead of time. Ask about the company culture, or inquire about a challenge the organization is currently facing.
If your interviews aren't going well and you're not getting the job offers you're hoping for, assess your job interview behavior. Make sure you're not committing any of these common mistakes. If you're guilty of any, learn from them and adjust your actions at the next interview.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Ted Fellciano at Flickr.com