With the abundance (some might say overabundance) of job interview advice available online today, you’d think that job candidates would never make the kinds of interview mistakes job hunt advice columns continually advise against.
But you’d be wrong.
Read below for mistakes job seekers STILL make during interviews (slap forehead and cry “Duh!”).
- Not wearing appropriate clothing. It amazes us that people looking for work continue to show up in shorts and t-shirts. Or in clothes that are too sexy, too short, too tight, too wrinkled, too dirty. When looking for work, you want to impress the hiring manager. You should always dress appropriately. In fact, if in doubt, dress more conservatively than you think you need to. If looking for warehouse work, wear nice slacks and a shirt and tie. If dressing for retail, wear a jacket and tie. If looking for a management position, wear a full (matching) suit and tie. If female, wear nice slacks or a skirt. Leave the low-cut or see-through top at home; save the sparkly mini-skirt for the club.
- Arriving late. Five minutes, that might be OK (especially if you call and let the interviewer know you’re stuck in traffic). But 15 minutes? Half an hour? An hour? You need to call (and have an extremely good answer as to the delay) and see if you can reschedule.
- It’s also not a good idea to arrive too early, as in no earlier than 15 minutes. Why isn’t this OK? Because the interviewer/hiring manager will be told you’re there and will feel rushed (and maybe a bit annoyed because of feeling rushed).
- Not knowing what the company does, what services it provides or products it makes. If you’re not sure, check the company’s website. If you can’t access its website, call the company and (without saying that you’re looking for work), ask the receptionist what kind of services/products the company provides.
- Not know what job you’re interviewing for. If you’re working with a staffing service such as the Opti Staffing Group, your staffing manager will tell you about the position you’re being considered for. In fact, because the staffing manager truly wants you to get the job, he or she probably will give you a lot of information. If not, don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter. If you’re interviewing with a company you found on your own, double check before leaving for the interview what position it was you applied for.
- Turn your cell phone off. Turn. It. Off. Unless you’ve a family member in the hospital and you’re waiting for a critical call about his or her status, there’s no phone call in the world that’s as important as your job interview. If you forget to turn the phone off and it buzzes or rings during the interview, don’t accept the call, apologize profusely for the interruption and hit the “ignore” button.
- Look your interviewer in the eye as you meet. You don’t want a stare down, but you need to sit alertly, shake the interviewer’s hand firmly and look the interviewer in the eye as he or she speaks and you answer and ask questions.
- Ask for the job. Just because you’re interviewing doesn’t mean the hiring manager knows that you truly want the position. As you get ready to leave, take the interviewers hand to shake, look him or her in the eye and say something along the lines of, “Thank you for meeting with me. I believe I’m a great fit for this position because (mention something short) and I would like to be called in for your next round of interviews.”
Interested in more job interview tips? Contact a recruiter at the Opti Staffing Group. We have many temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities with companies in Anchorage, Seattle, Tacoma, Lake Oswego, Portland, and Chicago and we’d love to help you.