The interview process can be a competitive and nerve-wracking one. Every candidate is trying to make their best impression and while there is no foolproof advice to nailing the interview and getting the job, there are a few “don’ts” that you should always keep in mind.
1. Bring a buddy:
While you may think it would be fun or reassuring to have a friend, significant other or parent accompany you to your interview, filling the reception area with guests does not make a great impression. Walking into an interview with confidence (and by yourself) will send the message that you are independent, responsible and ready to take on that new job!
2. Challenge the interviewer to arm wrestle:
Although this is an extreme example, candidates can often get too personal during an interview. Whether it’s arm wrestling or asking the interviewer if they’re married, getting too personal during an interview is never a good idea. Even if you are getting along with your interviewer, remember to keep the focus of the conversation on the job and your professional abilities.
3. Ask about the inter-office dating policy:
Questions like that and inquiring about the pay and time off policy during your first interview can send the wrong message to the hiring manager. Every interviewer wants to feel like they are speaking with someone truly interested and invested in the interview and the job. It is always better to keep your interest directed at the position and the company overall, especially in the first interview. Salary and benefits will definitely be a part of the process, but be prepared for those conversations to happen much later.
4. Phone a friend:
In today’s world, where we are all attached to our phones, it is easy to forget a few simple rules of etiquette. Be sure to turn your phone off or put it on silent for your interview and put it away! The interviewer should have your undivided attention and keeping your phone on the table or answering a call or text, immediately signals that you are not fully invested in the company or position.
5. Get dressed on the fly:
Of course there are the urban myths of candidates coming to interviews having colored their ankles with black marker because they couldn’t find dress socks, but there are much more common faux pas when it comes to interview attire. It’s important, first and foremost, to research and understand as best you can the company and its culture before you head to your interview. If you know the company has a conservative environment, be sure to show up in formal business dress. On the flip side, if you are interviewing at a company where employees wear jeans on a daily basis, showing up in business casual wear is probably the route to go. In either case, it is always better to dress a step up for your interview than dress down.
Mostly, remember to be present and showcase your best qualities. If you are invested in your interview, the hiring manager is more likely to be invested in you. Good luck!