Congratulations! You have finally landed an interview, which is no small feat in our tough job market, So, pat yourself on the back and make sure not to blow it. Also, keep in mind that your cover letter, resume, and references are the vehicles that created the interview opportunity for you in the first place – personify that person during the interview process.
Being ‘Informal’ is Inappropriate
Unbelievably, some candidates actually do get far too informal, offering hugs instead of handshakes after the interview. Others will even ask the interviewer to connect on social media sites. You want to connect with this person professionally, not on a personal level at this point. Keep it professional!
Do not come off as ‘Overly’ Confident
Having a superb resume and a terrific background loses its draw if a candidate is arrogant or overly confident during the interviewing process. This will also send up a red flag in terms of dealing with your co-workers and your potential to ‘fit in’ with the firm culture.
Overwhelming the Interviewer – Information Overload
There is a fine line between being thoroughly prepared, and information overload. Keep in mind your resume and references have already been read and checked.
This is especially relevant for mature, more experienced workers who may be applying for lower level positions in our current markets, or meeting with decision makers who are junior to them.
Be sure to do your homework; know everything you can about the position, company, industry, whom the largest competitors are, etc. Always allow the interviewer to lead the meeting, and follow his or her agenda.
Criticizing Former Employers/Co-Workers
Never speak negatively about former employers, bosses, or co-workers – this is a huge mistake! Do not allow yourself to be trapped into answering leading questions in this area, and redirect the discussion swiftly.
Unable/Unwilling to Respond to Questions on Background & Future
When asked what you have done since losing your previous job, answer honestly, not simply stating job searching. Perhaps you went back to school, took an online course, volunteered your time, studied a particular new computer program, etc.
A more challenging question would be the ‘three-five-year plan’ query that inevitably comes up. Respond according to your career path, and the field you are currently pursuing with the firm. This could look like training in-house, independent training, and other actions that would lead to advancement with the firm.
Do Not Emote ‘Desperation’
A skilled interviewer can get you to let your hair down and reveal information that you should not be discussing fairly quickly, such as family matters, finances, etc. Keep your personal information private!
Be Conscious of Others
Everyone you encounter from the time you enter the building may in some way be related to the hiring process, so acknowledge the presence of others, particularly in the elevator and the firm Receptionist of course, and treat everyone with respect.
Assume that you are on camera (which is likely the case) from the moment you enter the lobby, up to and including your departure from the building.
Please continue reading at Avoid these Interview Mistakes – Part II of II