Common Interview Missteps to Avoid

As you plan for your next job interview, take some small steps that will make a big difference and help you steer clear of rookie mistakes. It takes just a moderate amount of preparation to help ensure that you go in confident, self-assured and ready to move to the head of the candidate pack.

Do Your Homework

Thoroughly research the company and the position and show up ready to demonstrate your knowledge. You don’t want your comments to sound rehearsed, but you do want to show genuine interest and have some background to support your enthusiasm.

  • Take advantage of social media. Interviewers will expect you to have done your research. Read through the company website and visit its LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Find out who your interviewers will be and Google them so you know a bit about them and their interests, as well.
  • Memorize some useful data. This might include company sales volume, profit margins, major products and/or services, growth opportunities, number of employees and branches, mission statement, corporate giving to charities, and reputation in the community.
  • Don’t forget to tap into your own networks. Use both your personal and social connections to learn more about your prospective employer and interviewers.

Be Professional

First impressions do count! Dress appropriately. Try and get a feel for company dress code and to be safe, kick it up a notch without overdoing it.

Another clear sign of professionalism is punctuality. Running late implies poor time management skills.

  • Plan to arrive about 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Allow cushion time for unexpected traffic jams, wrong turns, inclement weather or trouble finding a parking spot. You want a couple of minutes just to breathe, straighten your tie, or visit the restroom if needed.
  • Turn off your phone. Answering it or texting during an interview is rude and disruptive. Moreover, it sends a message that getting the job is not your top priority.

Faux Pas to Avoid

Here are some interview “no-no’s” that could quickly eliminate you from the competition:

  • Fuzzy resume facts: Never fudge any facts on your resume. The more truthful you are, the better you’ll be able to discuss your past experience in an interview. Besides, the company will most likely check all the facts anyway. Have a copy of your resume with you, even though you have already submitted it. This will come in handy if you need to complete an application form.
  • Talking too much: Keep your answers succinct and to the point. Stay focused and don’t get sidetracked onto unrelated topics or stories.
  • Badmouthing past employers: You want your interviewer to know you can work well with others and handle conflicts in a mature, effective manner. Brush up on your response to the question, “Have you worked with someone you disliked and how did you handle it?”
  • Lack of – or too much – confidence: Find your balance of power: the happy medium between feeling like a shoo-in for the job and assuming you’ll never get hired. Overconfidence can be perceived as arrogance, pushiness or indifference. Lack of confidence can manifest as nervousness, fidgeting or poor eye contact.

For additional tips to ace your next interview – and successfully realize your long-term career goals – consider partnering with a professional recruiter from Employment Professionals Canada. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more about our great job opportunities in Ontario.