Although most of the people we work with are young professionals with the common sense to avoid particularly egregious blunders during the interview stage, it’s not uncommon to hear a story from a potential employer that has us shaking our heads. No judgement. It can be nerve-wracking.
The following blog post is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most common and detrimental mistakes that potential employees make during the interview process.
You Dress Inappropriately for the Interview
A poorly chosen interview outfit can prove the difference between landing a rewarding career and continuing your job hunt. Although most individuals understand that the best interview attire is a suit or business casual outfit, some individuals still make the mistake of wearing jeans, running shoes, sweat pants, yoga pants, and hoodies.
Another common mistake is a propensity for young women to confuse club-wear with business wear. A high slit, plunging neckline, or barely-there skirt might work wonders for you out at the Annex, but it does not make a very good impression with your future employer. The next time you’re invited in for an interview, remember to dress sensibly. Learn more about how to pick the best interview outfit here.
You Haven’t Done Your Research
Most human beings are inherently narcissistic. This means that most employers – particularly small business owners – will be more interested in talking about their company than hearing a carefully constructed anecdote about how you overcame adversity.
That said, the interviewer will likely be insulted if you ask questions about the company that show you have no idea what the company does and how they make their money. By failing to do your research, you’re communicating to the employer that you lack in either foresight or intelligence. It’s also a lot harder to convince an employer you’re passionate about their industry, when you don’t really know anything about the industry that they’re in.
Bad Mouth a Former Employer or Employees
If the interviewer happens to ask you why you left your last employer, it’s important that you answer carefully. Although you may well have had a callous boss or toxic colleagues, you don’t want to appear to be the kind of person who is unwilling to take any responsibility for a negative work environment.
Further, most employers have enough experience to know that the individuals who complain the most about their past workplace happen to also be the people most likely to complain about their present workplace. Speak honestly, but positively.
You Don’t Smile
Job interviews are tough, we get it. However, it’s not a process that should turn you into a deadly serious person. Although employers want to hire someone professional, they also want to hire someone warm and friendly.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon to meet IT candidates who are unaware that their face during an interview is constantly set to grim. This temporary state of sternness can effect some of the friendliest people. Keep in mind although you may be nervous, a job interview is not a matter of life and death. Smile, show the employer your warmth, and you’re far more likely to get the job.
You Show Up Late
If you show up late to an interview, the chances of you getting that job drop dramatically. Showing up only five minutes past the time of appointment still stands out as a massive red flag to a potential employer. This is true even if you have a legitimate reason for being late.
By showing up late you effectively communicate a lack of professionalism, a disinterest in the job, a lack of respect toward the interview process and interviewer, and a delusional sense of self-importance. Our position is, it’s better to show up a half hour early, than five minutes late.
We help our IT job seekers prepare for the interview and would like to do the same for you. Connect with us today!
For more interviewing tips and IT job search information visit our Guide to Landing the Ultimate Information Technology Position.