How many of us have applied to a job, gone to an interview and felt like we aced it, only to get the dreaded “We regret to inform you we have gone with another candidate”? If you’re wondering if it was something you did, I’m going to try to give you a little insight into ways you may be sabotaging your interview experience. Sometimes the organization you’re interviewing for really found a better candidate, and sometimes, they’ve passed you over because you’ve done one (or all) of these things.
1. Do not be late. It is the first step to a poor experience if you are late to the interview. If you can’t be on time to the interview, how can you prove to an employer that you can be on time to work on a daily basis? It is critical if you are going to be late that you call ahead, and reschedule if necessary. However, I’d recommend trying your best to ensure you never find yourself in this position.
2. Do not wear jeans – or any other “casual” attire. Whatever position you are interviewing for, always dress 2 levels up (although I would argue that you should ALWAYS dress business professional for any interview, there are a few industries where it could be seen as slight overkill. When in doubt, put on that suit!)
3. Filling out the application: This seems tedious and annoying, but if you are asked to fill out an application prior to an interview, do NOT walk into the interview and hand them your Resume and a partially filled out application. Don’t assume they will review your Resume, assume they are looking for all of the information on that application. You sell yourself short when you don’t follow simple instructions from the start.
4. Don’t act super casual. This is a job interview, not happy hour. It is important to build rapport, but you aren’t trying to find a new buddy to go out with on Saturday night (even though that may happen after you’re hired!) Maintain a professional demeanor and don’t use slang or informal posture.
5. DO NOT under any circumstances speak poorly of your former employer, supervisor or co-workers. If you had any issues, this is a good time to show off your conflict resolution skills while using verbiage that still holds the former in a positive light.
6. Do not ask about benefits, time off, retirement or salary until AFTER you’ve received an offer. You may get asked about your salary expectations, and that is fine, be honest, but do not push for further information during the interview. You are learning about the culture and atmosphere of the organization, as well as more information about the position while the interviewer is learning about you. All will be answered in time, this is not that time.
7. Do not forget to follow up! This keeps you fresh in the mind of the hiring manager. You want them to remember you and it shows that you are still interested in the position.
You may look at this list and think, “Oh my goodness, these are all so simple, and how could I have ever missed #blank?” It’s ok, even the best of us forget things sometimes, but if you keep this list in your arsenal, you can be sure that you won’t make these mistakes at your next interview. I can’t wait to see what stellar position you land by keeping these tips fresh in your mind. For more information on the interview process and nailing the position you’ve dreamed of, go to rynoresumes.com and follow us on LinkedIn!