You have gotten the interview. That’s great; congratulations! But if you have been job searching for more than ten minutes, you know that the hard part is yet to come.
The interview is where you need to impress and show off your skills to your potential employer. This is their chance to picture you in their role.
These are the top most common mistakes people make every day when going into a job interview that cost them their dream role.
Mistake: Not Properly Preparing
If you walk into an interview unprepared, expect to not get the job. If you think you can come into a position without any research done or notes prepared ahead of time, you will be job searching for a while.
How To Fix: Do Your Research
Trying to wow your interviewer? How about doing some proper research on the company before you walk through the doors! Learn about their investors, their history, and the role you are applying for. Know as much about the company as possible and you are going to impress them.
Several ways to do this include looking at your personal experience to know how you would fit into their role, and preparing intelligent questions to ask your interviewer about company culture or the company’s history. Do this by reading the “About Us” section, but also check Wikipedia.
Look around on forums or chat boards to see if former or current employees are talking about company culture or work environments.
Research isn’t just Googling, though. Do you know how to get to the company? Do you know where parking is? Will there be traffic?
Do a dry run if you have time, or at the very least check Google Maps and use their estimated departure time to figure out when you should leave so you aren’t late. Showing up late is sloppy, and an obvious turn off for your future employer.
Mistake: Not Dressing Appropriately
So you’ve done your research, and you see the company culture for the position or department you are interested in is lax. The dress code seems to be closed toed shoes and no holes in your t-shirt. Awesome! Do not show up like this.
How To Fix: Dress Nicely, Because It Matters
Even if you are interviewing for a role you know is casual, you should still dress well. First impressions stick with employers long after they know who you are, and even if the role isn’t as ‘formal’ or stiff as others might, you still should dress appropriately.
Use your best judgment, but always err on the side of overdressed. If you are interviewing for a software development job in a company that is laid back, a three-piece suit probably isn’t needed. Nice slacks, clean dress shoes, and a pressed button-up is a step above the dress code, and you will still look put together.
Mistake: Trash Talking Your Previous Employer
This is such a common mistake people make. When you are asked about your previous employer, your first reaction might be to unload all of your issues from your time there, including incidents with management, disagreements with other coworkers and more. This would be unwise for your future employment.
How To Fix: Be Professional and Answer Direct Questions Honestly… Not Rudely
You don’t have to be rude, to be honest, but you should always be professional. Dragging your previous or current employer’s name through the mud will leave a bad taste in the interviewers’ mouth, and they will immediately think about what you might say to future employers about them.
You can absolutely answer direct questions, and if you are leaving because of issues with management or coworkers, you can express that. But don’t bring it to a personal level, and only explain what you need to in order to get your point across. You will only look childish, petty, and unemployable if you do.