Photo: Flickr/Rachel Davies
You’ve probably heard that wearing too much perfume or cologne can be an instant turnoff at a job interview. Not only is it distracting, but your interviewer also might actually be allergic to the scent and end up sneezing during the meeting. You don’t want that to be the only thing they remember about you as a candidate – do you?There are plenty of other ways you can blow a job interview. If you hope to receive a job offer, don’t do any of the following at an interview:
Wear inappropriate clothing. You might have dressed too casually and appeared unprofessional, or maybe you were overzealous which resulting in being uncomfortable and overdressed. Generally speaking, you should wear a suit to a job interview. However, this is relative to the position, company and industry. If a suit isn’t appropriate, dress at least one step up from how you would on a regular basis in the office.
Act cocky. Obviously, the employer is interested in you – or else they would not have brought you in for an interview! However, this doesn’t mean you should bring up other interviews or job offers during your meeting with the hiring manager. This only makes you look unprofessional, although some job seekers might think it will help them appear “in-demand.”
Seem nervous or unprepared. Always, always, always research the organisation before heading into a job interview. You should know at least the basics about what they do, who their clients are, etc. Knowing these things will help you avoid that sinking feeling, should the interviewer ask you something basic about the company.
Fail to listen. Listening is a vital part of an interview. You’re not only there to talk about yourself, but also to learn about the organisation and determine if it’s a right fit for you. You’ll understand the interviewer’s questions better by actively listening and watching for nonverbal cues during your answers.
Avoid eye contact. Have you ever spoken with someone who refuses to look you in the eye? It’s unnerving, isn’t it? Traditionally, avoiding eye contact means you’re hiding something – not exactly the impression you want to make during a job interview. This isn’t to say you should hold a stare for the entire length of the meeting, but you should make regular eye contact to create a connection with the interviewer.
How else can job candidates blow an interview opportunity? What can they do to avoid making these mistakes?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organisations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.
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