When you’re interviewing for a job, everyone has advice for you.
Between your friend telling you how to negotiate, articles telling you how to dress, and your mother reminding you to “just be yourself,” it can be difficult to discern what’s worth listening to and what’s not.
Here are five tips you should always think twice about following:
Always wear a suit
In a blog post for Harvard Business Review, Amy Gallo asked career experts to break down some common interview advice, and this nugget didn't stand up to the test.
Yes, you want to look put-together and professional, but it's more important to fit in with the vibe of the company than show up dressed to the nines, they agreed. 'Wearing a suit when everyone at the office is dressed more casually sends the message 'I don't understand your culture,''' Gallo explains.
An easy trick: check out a site like Glassdoor to get a feel for the office culture, and dress one or two steps up from that. Dressing appropriately shows your interviewer that you took the time to research and understand the company, which ultimately tells them you care.
Make sure you arrive in plenty of time
While arriving late to a job interview is definitely a huge no-no, experts agree that arriving too early can also hurt your chances at landing the job.
As Business Insider's director of talent, Stephanie Fogle, previously told Business Insider's Kathleen Elkins, 'There is a fine line between showing interest and looking desperate, and you don't want to send the wrong message.'
Arriving more than 15 minutes early can be frustrating for a hiring manager especially because it could throw a curveball into their schedule, Elkins writes. Instead, if you want to make extra sure you arrive on time, head to a coffee shop in the area of the interview early and hang tight there until your scheduled time.
Say 'I'm a perfectionist' when asked, 'What's your greatest weakness?'
Everyone has heard the classic advice to say something that's actually a strength when asked what your biggest weakness is. But while this may seem like a sneaky way to make yourself seem more qualified, it actually comes off as fake and cliché. 'You're missing an opportunity to demonstrate self-awareness and a willingness to adapt,' Gallo warns.
Instead, honestly explain one of your weaknesses, then say what you're doing to fix it. 'Point out something that you're genuinely working on,' Gallo suggests. This way, instead of presenting a problem, you're presenting a solution.
You want to show your interviewer why you're the best person for the job, not wait for them to figure it out on their own. 'It's your job as the candidate to figure out what the hiring manager is looking for and tell a story that shows you meet those requirements,' Gallo says.
You should never lie or present a false version of yourself, but it's important to play up your best features and make a memorable first impression. 'Don't fool yourself into thinking you can just be who you are,' says Gallo. 'You need to nail those first few seconds by carrying the right props, sitting in the right place, and handling the handshake properly.'
Don't ask about salary
Staying silent throughout the interview process about salary could send the signal that you'll be happy with any job offer they make, writes Liz Ryan, founder and CEO of consulting firm Human Workplace, in a
post on Forbes.
'You have to bring up salary by your second job interview at the latest, or you will be walking straight into the common and frustrating scenario where you get presented with an insultingly low-ball offer, because you never asked, 'What does this job pay?'' she writes.
While you don't want to put money first, asking about the pay range for the job sooner rather than later can save you countless wasted hours and energy on a job that won't pay what you want, Ryan says.
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