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The Interview: What NOT To Do

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:40am | by DebbieFletcher

The interview is a crucial part of securing the job you want. Your resume opened the door but it’s the interview that usually clinches the job. It’s during the interview that you will convince the interviewer that you are the ideal person for the job and that you would be an asset to any company.

As you prepare for your interview remember don’t make the following mistakes-- things you must NOT do:

Do Not Ignore Your Appearance

You must appear smart and presentable.  Looking smart will also boost your confidence; possibly consider a new outfit?

Do Not Be Late

It is better to be early and wait for your interviewer than it is to be late. Not only does it look unprofessional but you will be rushed, harassed and will not appear at your best. You need to be as relaxed as possible.  If you’re unsure of the location, take a test drive a day or two prior to the interview to make sure you know where to go.

Do Not Be Unprepared

Make sure you research the role, the company and the industry. You cannot sell yourself as the best candidate if you have no idea what it is you need to do to fulfill the role in the first place. Take an additional copy of your resume just in case your employer has misplaced it!

Do Not Forget Your Manners

Be polite and friendly. Thank the interviewer for asking you to come in. Smile and shake hands if appropriate when you arrive and when you leave. Don’t forget to send a thank you note after the interview.  Tip:  Stand out from the crowd, instead of an email, send a handwritten note.

Do Not Show Any Doubt

 Make sure you are confident about yourself and your abilities to complete the job. Your prospective employer would not have invited you to interview if they didn’t think you had the qualifications for the job.  Believe in yourself, and they will believe in you too.

Don Not Be Nervous

As hard as it may be, try to hide your nerves as much as possible. Confidence is key (although there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance). Make sure you appear relaxed and interested and the interview will be much easier for both you and the person interviewing you. Try some relaxation techniques before the interview to prepare.

Do Not Rush

The interview will take as long as it needs to. If you rush to respond to answers, ask how long it will take and attempt to hurry things along you will appear unprofessional and not serious about the job. Take your time and accept you could be there for 10 minutes or 3 hours.

Do Not Focus On One Person

If there are several people interviewing you, do not focus on just the one person.  Make sure you are including everyone interviewing you to show you can handle pressured situations and are a team player and communicator.

Do Not Put Yourself Down

Every interview will contain the questions such as: “What are your weaknesses; what is your worst quality.”  Be careful how you respond. Answers like “I work too hard,” sound self-serving. Instead  focus on an area where you’ve taken steps to improve.  Example: When I first started my previous job, I had to learn to proofread more carefully to avoid typos in my work.”   Your response should be constructive and thoughtful but should still be selling yourself as an employee.

Interviews are a high-pressured situation for even the most confident of people and it is easy to fall apart while being questioned especially if it is a job you really want.  Prepare well ahead of time. Find someone to role play the interview with you and then be confidant that you are the right person for the job. 

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