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10 Things Not to Do Before and During a Job Interview

10 Things Not to Do Before and During a Job Interview

Read Time: 7 mins

Published By: Jessica Morrison

Published: 2 weeks ago

Congratulations! You've been diligent about finding a new job, and you've finally landed an interview. What happens next? If you want to be seriously considered for the position, you must prepare carefully. One or two missteps can disqualify you as a candidate, even if you have the right experience and skills. If you really want to get hired, study this list of things NOT to do before and during an interview.

1. Research the company
Do not go ahead and show up, then ask what the company does and how it's organised. The message: You're just looking for a salary and don't care where it comes from.

2. Dress appropriately
Do not present yourself in inappropriately, a quick call to the company's HR department to ask, or simply wearing your best interview suit will put you in proper attire for the meeting.

3. Practice interview questions
Do not hesitate or stammer during any of the standard interview questions, you will seem unprepared and unpolished. A quick internet search will give you a list of questions that many companies ask. Don't rely on instincts -- study the list and create short answers that include your own experiences.

4. Arrive on time
Do not arrive late, it will be perceived that you are not organised or that you have no regard for others' time. Arriving 10-15 minutes early allows you to use the restroom, check your hair, watch the people in the office and chat with the receptionist.

5. Be courteous to the receptionist
Do not underestimate the receptionist. Be nice to the person who signs you in and offers you a cup of coffee? Many companies include the receptionist's feedback when considering candidates. How you interact with all levels of the organisation says a lot about you as a person. Receptionists are the eyes and ears of the company, and often serve as gatekeepers. Besides, like all people, they deserve respect and courtesy. Be pleasant, smile, chat about the weather, accept the visitor's badge, and thank him or her on your way out.

6. Answer questions with an example
Do not answer questions with one-word. When asked if you have any experience that relates to the new position, surely your application form/CV speaks for itself, right? What more needs to be said? A simple yes or no should suffice, right? Actually, that's the worst way to respond.
Every question is designed to elicit more information from you. If you have an example from your experience (personal or professional) that shows how you'd handle a situation, this is your moment to shine. If you don't, then now is the opportunity to say how you would solve a
problem, or that you would be eager to learn. One-word responses = uncommunicative.

7. Shake hands and look your interviewers in the eye
Do not forget to shake hands and look at your interviewers. While you are at the interview to be evaluated for your skills and talents, your ability to follow business practice is also up for review. Nonverbal communication -- including a firm handshake and good eye contact - accounts for 55 percent of all interactions. Everything is on display during an interview. Sit tall, don't fidget, keep your arms and hands relaxed. Look at each person when you speak. All of these things make you look confident and ready to tackle a new job

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8. Ask questions
Do not ask ill thought out questions. Why would you ask questions -- isn't that the interviewer's role? You are supposed to ask questions! But never -- ever! -- questions about how much holiday you'd get or how soon you can get a raise. You need to decide if this job is a good fit for you. Ask about a typical day or about training opportunities. Ask where the company expects to be in five years --and how you can help. You can even ask what the worst part of the job is. Come to the interview with at least three questions that can help you make a good decision.

9. Maintain a professional demeanor
Do not behave in an unprofessional manner. You want to show the interviewer that you're not a snob. In fact, you're just like everyone else...so you launch into a story what a jerk your last boss was -- who can't relate to that? But will you notice how uncomfortable you are making others? It won't matter; you've crossed the boundary of professional behaviour and have probably blown your chances of advancing in the hiring process.

10. Ask for the job
Do not miss the opportunity to show the interviewer you are keen to secure the role. Why would you do this? Doesn't it seem pushy to ask for the job? Quite the opposite! It shows that you are interested and that you are confident enough to let the interviewers know. Too many applicants walk away from the interview without asking. A simple "This is very exciting! I would love to be the successful candidate." is enough. Or, "I'd love to work with you and the team!" spoken sincerely, this is one of the best things you can do at the end of the interview.

With good preparation and attention to details, you really can land that job. Good luck!