Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid
By Denver Regine Lark
Denver is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
So you completed the application and snagged an in-person interview. You have your resume in hand, are dressed to perfection and even arrived early. But what about your responses to the questions? Have you prepared for the interview? If you haven’t, don’t fret. Here are a few first impression mistakes to avoid on an interview.
Not dressing properly for the job
You must look the part to get the part, right? However, it is possible to underdress and even overdress so knowing the median is important. You should wear business casual clothing to an interview for a non-professional job, but definitely a suit for a more corporate job. No matter the job, it is important to dress the part.
Arriving on time for your interview is necessary. If possible, arrive early which puts you a step above the rest. It is quite easy to make a bad impression before your interview starts simply by not arriving on time. This shows that you have a lack of respect for the company, as well as poor time management skills. If you are running late for an interview, be sure to call ahead. This can easily be avoided by planning your schedule accordingly and allowing for “cushion time” for unforeseen things.
Failing to research the company
If you do your research, you won’t be stumped with the question “What do you know about our company?” Most companies have an About Us section on their website so be sure to study it. It usually includes history of the company, the company’s mission statement and more. Also many companies have social networking accounts. So as your scrolling down your timeline for the latest gossip, take some time to research the company as well.
Not being familiar with your own resume
Indistinct resume facts are unfortunately becoming more popular as competition within different industries expand. You’ve already submitted your resume, but it is important that you are aware of your own experience. Dates, skills and employer contact information are essential points. Review your resume beforehand, and remember that your resume is the first example of your character, integrity and credibility. The more truthful you are, the more you can discuss your experience as well as your aspirations.
Talking too much
There’s a fine line between sharing valuable information and talking too much in an interview. Just remember that the interviewer is not there to hear your entire life story. They are interested in why you are better than the rest, and what you will “bring to the table”. Do not get sidetracked and begin talking about your personal life. No matter how welcome you may feel, an interview is a professional setting. Put your best foot forward!
Failing to prepare for the interview
Do not let yourself get caught off guard when it comes to answering questions. There will be more than the basic when, what and how questions. Prepare yourself by reviewing questions to expect as well as conducting a mock interview, if possible. Also, be prepared with a list of questions to ask the interviewer so that you are ready when they ask if you have any questions.
Speaking negatively about former employers
Speak positively of your former employers despite how you may really feel. You’d be surprised how small the world is and who knows who. You do not want the interviewer to think that you would badmouth them if you were to leave. You want the interviewer to know that you work well with others and can handle conflicts in mature and effective ways.
Take a deep breath, and remember the hardest part was finding the job, applying and even having your resume looked at. You’ve got the rest!