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We are all human and are all prone to making mistakes, right? However, mistakes in an interview can cost you the position and can be fairly easy to avoid.  Since I am feeling extra special nice today, I have put together a list of things to avoid in an interview.

  • Be prepared: Start out on the right foot and be prepared for the interview. Know where you are going, how long it is going to take for you to get there, who you are interviewing with, position details and a few follow up questions. Print out your resume and wipe off your hands of sweat before you shake the interviewers hand (alright… I just threw that one in there for the heck of it. But you get the point, right?)
  • Dress appropriately: Dress to impress! If you want the interviewer to take you seriously, make sure you dress for the part. I am not telling you to bring out your prom dress or dust off your tuxedo from 1992, however, you should look presentable and well put together.
  • Let the interviewer lead: Nothing says, “I don’t take direction very well,” like not taking direction from the interviewer. If you plop down in the chair and just start talking without any purpose or direction, this could make your interviewer question if you are going to be able to take direction on the job. That may not be the case at all; you may just have the nervous chattys. Don’t give your potential employer the wrong idea.
  • Don’t talk too much or too little: There is a fine line between talking way too much and not talking enough. Just remember to keep your answers to the point and relevant to the question that was asked. If I am asking you about your education, I want to hear about your education not about how bad your boss was at your last position.
  • Don’t bad mouth your previous employer: Nice segue! There is no need to inform your potential employer about your previous boss that was a jerk. It is not relevant, it doesn’t help the situation, and it makes your interviewer question if it is all the boss or if you can be a difficult employee.
  • Be present: After interviewing so many people over the last couple of years, I am completely aware that not everyone is going to be skipping into the interview room with rainbows and butterfly’s following them. But come on! Give me something! If you are not interested in being in the interview, I am not going to think you are very interested in the position. Be present and engaged.
  • Over the overly overconfident: Make sure the check your ego at the door. There is a balance between sharing your accomplishments and bragging.
  • Hey Millennials! Restrain from posting on Social Media: Those Social Media sites are readily available for almost anyone to be snooping. Don’t you think your potential employer will want to take a peek? In case you weren’t sure of the answer… it is “Yes!” According to Forbes.com, “An overwhelming majority (70%) of hiring managers said millennials make the mistake of posting potentially compromising content on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.” Don’t let this be you and don’t miss out on an opportunity because you had to share with your entire social network how your interviewer must have walked straight out of the 80’s.

Most of interviewing is a balancing act. You don’t want to share too much, but you want to share enough for them to know you would be a good fit for the position. Overall, just remember to be prepared and let them lead! You know the answers to all of the questions they are going to ask you – after all, they are questions about you. Happy interviewing!

Elizabeth Lasanen – Staffing Specialist –  Vision Staffing

October 30, 2012