Job Interview Don’ts

I’ve interviewed for a lot of jobs. Not as many as some people, but I’ve definitely done my share of it. I’m definitely not the best job interviewee, but I’m getting there. Getting a job nowadays is harder than ever; unemployment is high, and dozens of people are likely scrambling for the same exact job that you are. There are some things that most people know: Dress up nice, make your resume sound good, and always be polite. But what shouldn’t you do at a job interview? We’re going to look at a few things you may want to consider avoiding when you are applying for a job.

- Don’t be late. I am a stickler for being on time. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more lax, but in the case of job interviews, I’m not. In high school, our marching band motto was “if you’re 10 minutes early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late.” Get there early; it also will help you get rid of interview jitters if you’re used to the environment that you are interviewing in. If you don’t know where you’re going, leave early and get good directions. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the person who set up the interview for directions.

- Don’t smell too strongly. Some people have allergies. Others get really irritated if they have to share a small space with someone that has strong perfume or cologne on. A small bit helps you smell good; too much makes you reek. Be considerate of those around you and be light with whatever scent you wear.

- Don’t be clueless about the company.  Do your research. Make sure that you are fairly knowledgeable about what the company you are interviewing with does. You’ll likely get asked questions about your perception of the company and how you can fit into the company’s vision. If you’re clueless about what that specific company does, you’re likely to get rejected.

- Don’t talk too much. If you talk too much, you can get annoying, or you can say things that you probably shouldn’t say in an interview. I’ve bombed interviews before because I started talking about my social anxiety and freezing up when interacting with people. That was definitely not on the list of things I should be saying when trying to get a job. Don’t incriminate yourself with nerves.

- Don’t get too buddy-buddy. Sometimes, interviewers will ask you about your hobbies and such. This is normal, they want to get an idea of who you are outside of a working environment. But, if you start getting too personal, it can be incriminating. The relationship with your interviewer is purely business, if you want friends, wait until after you get the position to do so.
What other “job interview don’ts” can you think of? Have you ever messed up with any of these? What other advice would you like to share? Share some thoughts in the comments, have a great week, and we’ll see you here next week!

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