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Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid

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I remember when I was looking for a job and when that phone finally rang, I was so excited to finally get the opportunity to show them what I was made of. When you get called in for an interview, here are a few things to avoid.

According to Forbes Magazine’s survey of 500 hiring managers around the country, they say that today’s job candidates aren’t professional enough. Here are the biggest mistakes they say people make during the interview process.

Dress the Part

Three out four interviewees don’t dress up enough for their interviews and many hiring managers say that this is a “detrimental mistake”. One helpful hint here is one I go by when I don’t know what the dress code is for where I’m going: Dress yourself so well, everyone else thinks they’re under dressed. You can never go wrong with a black business suit. It’s my standard clothing scheme for situations like interviews. It makes me feel confident and powerful and according to one survey, hiring managers can notice your confidence level within the first 30 seconds of meeting you, so wear something that makes you feel confident and your body language will follow suit. No pun intended. (OK. Maybe just a little…)


Watch Your Social Media Pages

Just over a third of hiring managers say that they check candidates’ Facebook and Twitter pages and almost always come across unprofessional comments or photographs on candidates’ social media pages. If you went on spring break or went to the beach for summer vacation and there are photos of you in your bathing suit doing keg stands in Cocoa Beach, you may want to hide them or remove them. Also watch spelling and grammar on your social pages. About half of hiring managers say that grammar and spelling are two important skills to have so watch what you post.


Know Where You’re Applying

If you plan to say that you’re very intrigued by what the company is doing and the interviewer looks at you and says, “What specifically is it that intrigues you?” and you have nothing, it looks terrible. Know the roots of the company, what they’ve done in the last year and maybe a few things that are in the pike for them for at least the next quarter or two. It will make you look good and that you’ve done your research, are detail oriented and well organized.


Question Everything

Several hiring managers say that candidates appear bored or disinterested when they don’t ask enough questions. If you can’t think of one, ask about the dress code. That’s one that I always ask. The brilliant minds over at Forbes say other good questions to ask are, “How does this position fit into your company’s long term plans?” because it makes you look like a forward thinker and that you’re planning on staying for the long haul and “How would you describe the ideal candidate?” because then you can see how your work ethic and skill set could fit in.


A few other no nos: Don’t chew gum, don’t bite your nails, turn off your phone and if you can’t turn your phone off don’t be looking at it every two seconds. Turn it to silent or vibrate and leave it in your bag. Don’t be over confident because you’re going to look like a cocky jerk and no one likes a cocky jerk and also don’t talk smack about your former boss or former company. Especially if you’re still working there; and if you got fired it will just look like sour grapes.

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