Over the years, I have had the privilege of interviewing many job candidates. These candidates have been applying for a wide variety of positions – everything from an entry-level position to someone that will have an esteemed position within a university. While the positions may have been different, there are several interview mistakes to avoid that will harm your prospects – no matter what the job.
First, be sure to leave your cell phone in the car. Several years ago, I was part of an interview panel where the interviewee brought her cell phone into the conference room. Not only that, but she put the cell phone directly on the table in front of her and constantly watched it as if she was waiting for an important call. This was a job interview! If she had something vitally important happening in her life, then perhaps she should have rescheduled the appointment.
Second, be sure to dress professionally. What does this mean? It can mean something different for each company. Don’t be afraid to ask what you should wear to the job interview. And, I’ve never heard of anyone not getting a job because they dressed too professionally during an interview.
Finally, be sure you know the interviewer. Take time to find out who the interviewer (or interviewers) may be, research their LinkedIn profile, and understand their role within the organization. And, don’t forget to look around his or her office for hints into their personality. If you notice something you have in common, this may be a good time to mention it. Find commonalities and build up on them during the interview.
There are many things to consider when going to a job interview. No matter the type of job, be sure to be professional and positive during the process. Following these three tips will get you one step closer to landing the job.