Interviewing for a new job is stressful, to say the least, and that goes for everyone involved. Prospective employees come in with their game face on, dressed and ready to impress potential employers. Interviewing employers, on the other hand, are tasked with selecting an employee who may or may not actually live up to the personality that they interviewed – after all, some people interview well but aren’t actually good hires, and some people interview poorly even though they would actually end up being the best person for the job. However there are some tell-tale things job-seekers do that turn off employers and could end up costing them the job before they even finish the interview.
1. Not having researched the company
One of the most common mistakes made by the candidates is not having researched the company prior to the interview. As a ‘rule of thumb’ just keeps in mind, the more famous the brand, the more they will expect you to have done your homework. Researching the company shows you’re serious about the job.
2. Not making eye contact
No matter how nervous you are you have to look your interviewer in the eye, otherwise you’ll come across as someone who lacks confidence in yourself. Conveying confidence in yourself shows that you believe in what you’re saying and what you have to offer to the company, something that’s attractive to most if not all employers. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities why should your potential employer?
3. Overuse of filler words
Pausing to gather your thoughts and deliver a well-crafted answer to an interview question is one thing. Repeatedly using filler words such as “like”, “uh” or “um”, on the other hand, just makes you look unprofessional and unprepared. Most of us user filler words without even thinking about it, so you need to make a conscious effort to keep them out of your vocabulary while you’re communicating with the interviewer.
4. Personal Hygiene and Appearance
It should go without saying that having good personal hygiene is of the utmost importance during an interview (and during the work day!), however where some people unknowingly make a mistake is by wearing perfume or cologne too heavily – you don’t want to smell overpoweringly strong in either direction, whether it’s a good smell or a bad smell. This is also the time to wear more neutral, business appropriate attire in place of any flashy clothing items, and to keep makeup more natural looking.
5. Crossing your arms
Crossing your arms across your chest is a defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves and, like the overuse of filler words, we often times don’t even realize that we’re doing it until after the fact. But crossing your arms also makes you look closed off and unapproachable – you want to make sure you come across as open and receptive during a job interview to give off a good impression. It’s important to sit with your hands open on the table or in your lap, which gives the appearance of being open and inviting to conversation.
6. Talking about people you don’t get on with at work
These days, it’s common to be asked how you deal with conflict. Companies realize the importance of interpersonal relationships in the working environment. So if they ask you about difficult people or situations make sure you hold back from character assassination and blaming others for problems because it won’t do you any favors! If you accidentally do “break” this rule, apologize and explain what you “really” meant.
The majority of employers can tell almost right away if someone is going to be a good fit for a job or not through body language and their overall approachability. After all, if you’ve made it to the interview then they’ve already read your resume and know your technical background; the interview is your chance to up sell yourself and all of your best qualities for the position.