Top 10 Interview Blunders 1. Don't Prepare Not being able to answer the question "What do you know about this company?" might just end your quest for employment, at least with this employer. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an "About Us" section on most company web sites. Review it ahead of time, then print it out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory. 2. Dress Inappropriately Dressing inappropriately can work both ways. You will certainly want to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for a summer job at your local theme park or as a lifeguard, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire. If you aren't sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office to see what they are wearing. 3. Poor Communication Skills It's important to communicate well with everyone you meet in your search for employment. It is, however, most important to positively connect with the person who might hire you. Shake hands, make eye contact, exude confidence, engage the person you are speaking with, and you will let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position - before you even answer an interview question. 4. Too Much Communication Believe it or not, a recent candidate for employment, who, by the way, didn't get the job, didn't hesitate to answer his cell phone when it rang during an interview. Leave the phone behind or at least turn it off before you enter the building. Same goes for coffee, food and anything else other than you, your resume, your job application, and your list of references. They don't belong at an interview. 5. Talk Too Much There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on... The interviewer really doesn't need to know your whole life story. Keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused and don't ramble - simply answer the question. 6. Don't Talk Enough It's really hard to communicate with someone who answers a question with a word or two. I remember a couple of interviews where I felt like I was pulling teeth to get any answers from the candidate. It wasn't pleasant. So, even though you shouldn't talk too much, you do want to be responsive and fully answer the question as best you can. 7. Fuzzy Facts Even if you have submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you may also be asked to fill out a job application. Make sure you know the information you will need to complete an application including dates of prior employment, graduation dates, and employer contact information. 8. Give the Wrong Answer Make sure you listen to the question and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond. Like the following candidate, you'll knock yourself out of contention if you give the wrong answer. The interviewer had completely described a sales and marketing position to the candidate. She emphasized that cold calling and prospecting were the most important skills and experiences needed for the position. The candidate responded to the question about what she did or didn't like to do in sales, with these words: "I hate to do cold calling and prospecting, and I'm not good at it." That response ensured that she wouldn't get the job! 9. Badmouthing Past Employers Your last boss was an idiot? Everyone in the company was a jerk? You hated your job and couldn't wait to leave? Even if it's true don't say so. I cringed when I heard someone ranting and raving about the last company she worked for. That company happened to be our largest customer and, of course, I wasn't going to hire someone who felt that way about the company and everyone who worked there. It's sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don't know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot... You also don't want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren't the best. 10. Forget to Follow Up Afraid you didn't make the best impression? Are you sure that you aced the interviewed? Either way, be sure to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position and the company. Finally, even if you do flub the interview, don't take it to heart. I don't think there is anyone hasn't blown an interview or two. If it happens, look at it like it just wasn't meant to be, learn from your mistakes and move on to the next opportunity. Interview Resources ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Women's Interview Attire ·Solid color, conservative suit ·Coordinated blouse ·Moderate shoes ·Limited jewelry ·Neat, professional hairstyle ·Tan or light hosiery ·Sparse make-up & perfume ·Manicured nails ·Portfolio or briefcase Men's Interview Attire ·Solid color, conservative suit ·White long sleeve shirt ·Conservative tie ·Dark socks, professional shoes ·Very limited jewelry ·Neat, professional hairstyle ·Go easy on the aftershave ·Neatly trimmed nails ·Portfolio or briefcase More Interview Help: ------------------------------------------ Employers use telephone interviews as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. They are also used as way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates. While you're actively job searching, it's important to be prepared for a phone interview on a moment's notice. You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk. Be Prepared to Interview Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical interview questions. In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background and skills. ·Keep your resume in clear view, on the top of your desk, or tape it to the wall near the phone, so it's at your fingertips when you need to answer questions. ·Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review. ·Have a pen and paper handy for note taking. ·Turn call-waiting off so your call isn't interrupted. ·If the time isn't convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives. ·Clear the room - evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door. ·Unless you're sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line. Practice Interviewing Talking on the phone isn't as easy as it seems. I've always found it's helpful to practice. Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and tape record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. Any cassette recorder will work. You'll be able to hear your "ums" and "uhs" and "okays" and you can practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Also rehearse answers to those typical questions you'll be asked. During the Phone Interview ·Don't smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink. ·Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth. ·Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice. ·Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. ·Use the person's title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to. ·Don't interrupt the interviewer. ·Take your time - it's perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts. ·Give short answers. ·Remember your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview. After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person. After the Interview: ·Take notes about what you were asked and how you answered. ·Remember to say "thank you." Follow with a thank you note which reiterates your interest in the job.