Wading through all the job search advice on the internet can be overwhelming. From observing job seekers in job interviews for a number of years, I have come up with 5 essential things NOT TO DO before and during a job interview.
Avoid these pitfalls and you will immediately have an advantage over competing job seekers.
- Dress Casually for Job Interview. The only exception to this being if you have been asked to dress casually by the potential employer or are interviewing on an active work site filled with mud, dust, dirt, etc.. I have seen too many people blow interviews because they show up in worn out, holey jeans and rumpled shirts. If you cannot dress business appropriate for an interview, how are you going to dress if you get the job?
- Smoke Immediately Before the Job Interview. The smell will linger on your clothing and may be very off putting to the interviewer. Companies interviewing for health care positions are especially sensitive about this as most of these workplaces do not allow any smoking in their facilities.
- Bring your cell phone to the interview. Even when cell phones are in silent mode, they still buzz loud enough to be distracting. Certainly, never talk on your cell phone while waiting for or during an interview. Doing so will convey that you have more important places to be than the job interview.
- Make one of the first questions that you ask in the interview focus on salary and vacation time. There is definitely a time and place to ask about salary and benefits, but early in an initial interview is not it. The interviewer will get the impression that your main concerns are about what’s in this job for you and how quickly you get a break from work. He or she is looking for what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.
- Neglect to send a thank you note to the interviewer(s). These company representatives have dedicated time to finding out why you would make a great addition to the company. Time is such a valuable commodity. Thank these individuals for spending it with you.
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