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Interviewing Mistakes – Part 1

Applying for a job in today’s market comes with its own challenges. Years ago a job seeker could visit a company and fill out an application in person. Now, most companies prefer that you apply online, create profiles and submit your documents in an electronic format. Not knowing how to correctly format your resume could lead to no responses at all.  Let’s just say you prevail against the odds and you land an interview; now what? We will dedicate the few blogs in an effort to address interviewing mistakes that could cost you the job. The following represents a partial list of the things to avoid during your interviewing session. While the list appears simple, the outcome could prove catastrophic if not taken seriously. Avoiding these mistakes could land you the job!

1. Arriving late: It goes without saying that this move will have you lose significant favor. It is extremely important to get to your appointment no more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment to send the correct message. Arriving before your appointment also helps to collect your thoughts so that you are prepared. Arriving late is noticed by the interviewer as well as the receptionist–who may have the ear of the hiring manager.

2. Not representing your skills/experience accurately: If you don’t have the experience direct or indirectly, do not say that you do otherwise! In your enthusiasm to tweak your resume, do not embellish it with facts that are not accurate. If your potential employer finds out that you were less than honest, it could cost you the job offer and severely hurt your reputation.

3. Wearing too much perfume of aftershave: As a rule of thumb, I never wear cologne on a day that I have an interview scheduled. I would hate to have someone comment that I would have been considered, but they don’t want to have to smell that loud cologne every day. If I shave the day of an interview I use a small amount of aftershave, and that only.

4. Failing to demonstrate excitement: In other words, show your enthusiasm and interest of the job. If you smile and act as if you really want the job– you just might get it! So smile and show your excitement.

5. Talking too much: I know you’re excited, but only answer what you were asked. If you talk too much your interviewer could possibly lose both focus and interest. Remember to attempt to keep them engaged by speaking with excitement, but stick to the script. Use the courtroom adage; asked and answered!

6. Interrupting the interviewer: This can easily happen in your enthusiasm to impress your interviewer by anticipating their next question, but take a breath and listen before jumping in. Allow the interviewer to ask the pertinent questions and you’ll have the opportunity to respond accordingly. Interrupting could send the message that you’re not a good listener; we wouldn’t want that impression, would we?

7. Bad-mouthing your boss and or company: Bad mouthing your boss or former company is a very bad choice. The interviewer will begin to question whether you would do the same to them or the company if you ever became disgruntled because of a different corporate decision. Bad-mouthing your boss is an awful display of loyalty. Keep comments about your current boss or company positive. If you have issues with your boss, mention the things that you really appreciate about the job. That should put you in a “happy place”.

8. Not dressing appropriately: More and more companies are adapting a casual dress environment for their current employees. However, until you officially get hired by the group, make sure that you always present yourself professionally in the standard business clothing attire. Never go to an interview in jeans, sandals, tanks tops, shorts, T-shirts, tube tops….you get it!  Our clients are always commended on their general appearance and preparation.

9. Having your cell phone on during the meeting: Never have your cell phone on during an interview! Nothing is more distracting than a ringing phone during a session where you were about to be offered the job, but you interrupted the interviewer to take a call from your best friend. Sounds outlandish, but it happens!

10. Failing to ask for the job: Sure this takes skill, but you have to end your session with the hiring manager knowing that you are interested in their position.  I will share more on this topic in future interviewing lessons. But, in the meantime, ask for the job as discreetly as possible.
Remember, this is a partial list of popular mistakes people make during interviews. Avoiding these and other mistakes could mean the difference between having the job and losing it in the midst of the interview session. Style and Travel Daily is committed to your success–so apply these tips and refer your friends to us for the help they need. I’ll share more in the next Blog to make sure you avoid other mistakes and secure the job you want. As a reminder, Style and Travel Daily is available to provide “interview coaching sessions” to polish your presentation. Visit our site for more information on available services and products.

Here’s to your Success!


President, Style and Travel Daily

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2 Responses to Interviewing Mistakes – Part 1

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