We all know that looking for a job can be a stressful process. When you start sending your resume out and get set up for an interview, that can also be a tense part of your search. Thankfully, there are certain things that you can do in order to minimize that stress which will set yourself up to do well. Take a look at these five common interview mistakes and learn how you can avoid them and ensure your future success.

1. Dressing inappropriately

Whenever you go out on an interview, you need to “dress to impress.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a small nonprofit or an international investment firm, you should always wear professional attire to your interview. This is typically the organization’s first impression of you, so you need to show that you respect their time and take the potential job opportunity seriously. Even if you have a meeting scheduled with a staffing agency, it’s important to dress professionally. When you wear a more casual outfit, there may be concern as to how you will represent the organization in the future.

2. Getting to the interview late, or too early

Things can happen on the way to your interview location. There is the possibility of traffic, a train delay, or something else unexpected. To avoid this situation, plan enough time to arrive at least fifteen minutes early. This way if you are delayed by something, you can still plan to be on time. If something unexpected does happen despite taking the appropriate precautions and you are running late, make sure to call before your scheduled interview time to give a heads up.

However, there is such a thing as being too early. Don’t arrive an hour before your scheduled interview because you left early and were in the area. Recruiters and hiring managers schedule interviews at certain times for a reason. If there aren’t any delays, you can just hang out for a little while in a nearby coffee shop until it’s time to head to the organization. Arriving late or excessively early can give the impression that you don’t value their time or may not take the job opportunity seriously.

3. Being unprepared

The most important aspect of any interview is being prepared. Don’t wait until the day of the interview to get everything ready. Most organizations will email an interview confirmation, so be sure to read it carefully in case they have any specific instructions or requests. In addition, always bring multiple copies of your resume and professional references so you have them for your interviewer. This will only further highlight your preparation and diligence. It’s also important to research the organization thoroughly and get as much knowledge about the job opportunity as possible. This way you will be able to talk about both aspects with your interviewer and ask meaningful questions to keep the conversation flowing. Take a few minutes to write the information and questions down so you can have them with you during the interview.

4. Not knowing your resume inside and out

Before you go in for your interview, you need to ensure that you know your resume thoroughly so you will able to talk about it and answer questions thoughtfully. Be prepared to fully discuss your previous job duties and experiences in each position. Practice and plan ahead in order to sound polished when describing your past roles.

It’s also important to be honest and professional when answering questions about your resume. If you left an employer due to an unpleasant situation, explain the circumstances and describe how you tried to overcome the obstacles. Don’t just say that you left because you “didn’t like the environment” or “had a problem with the manager.” Remember to be truthful when discussing all aspects of your resume, because any lies you tell will come back to haunt you if you do start working for that organization.

5. Keeping your cell phone out or on

Despite this being a simple mistake, it’s easy to forget about your phone. You need to make sure that your phone is off and away, not just set on vibrate. The last thing you want is to have your phone going off in the middle of your interview. Even a vibrating pocket is distracting and unprofessional.

Interview Mistakes to Avoid.pngAs you get ready to take on an interview, keep these common errors in mind so you can avoid them at all costs. You don’t want a simple mistake to jeopardize your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.


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