Career Resources

Career Resources

What Your Interview Mistakes Say About You

Posted October 7, 2013 & filed under Interviewing

What Your Interview Mistakes Say About You

You can be a highly skilled individual, boast multiple years of experience in the field, and even have the most well written resume in the world, but all of that is for naught if you can’t perform well in the job interview. Most of the mistakes that can be made during the interview process may seem small but hiring managers often see them as a big deal. Make sure you don’t make any of these interview mistakes the next time you get the call to sit down with a hiring manager.

Mistake: You do not arrive on time

It is always important to leave yourself enough time to get to the interview. Make sure you account for any and all possibilities whether they are in your control or not. You never know if you may get lost, stuck in traffic, or held up by the weather, so add at least 15-20 to your estimated travel time just to be sure.

What the hiring manager sees

An incompetent person who can’t be trusted to handle the responsibilities of the position. How could you if you can’t even show up on time to the interview? On the other hand, if you arrive too early you will look far too eager. Professionals show up a 5-10 minutes before their appointment time. While you should arrive sooner (just to be sure your get there), always sit in your car or take a walk to time out your arrival perfectly.

Mistake: You are wearing something inappropriate or ostentatious

Unless you are applying for a job as an extra in the Zoolander sequel, job interviews are not the place to test the waters of creative fashion. If you have seen it on the runway it’s best to leave it at home. A simple black, blue, or brown suit is always the way to go. Your skills and experience should stand out, not your wardrobe.

What the hiring manager sees

A reckless and irresponsible person who cannot be trusted in a professional setting. Brightly colored suits and scandalous clothes do not belong in an office setting. The company may have a loose dress code (some even allow shorts and flip flops), but every interview has a strict policy on what you should and shouldn’t wear to the interview.

Mistake: You speak with your hands

It’s hard not to be nervous during the interview. We often trip over our words or lose sight of what is considered proper body language. It is important to continuously perform a sort of systems check on yourself during the interview, ensuring that you are sitting up straight and maintaining proper body language.

What the hiring manager sees

Your hands. We can often lose control of our body while we are speaking in a stressful situation. Waving your hands about is distracting and will not allow the hiring manager to pay attention to what you are saying. You don’t want them to miss out on your well-prepared answers because of your distracting body language.

Mistake: Your eyes wander

Maintaining eye contact can be uncomfortable and intimidating. It may be hard to look someone within a position of power in the eyes but you have to push through it. Don’t allow your eyes to wander about the room.

What the Hiring manager Sees

A distracted person who has little interest in the position. Maintaining eye contact requires confidence and tact. You want to let the hiring manager know you are interested, but don’t stare into their eyes for too long or you risk looking like a deer in headlights.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of @Doug88888 via Flickr