My mom has a really bad habit of calling and texting me repeatedly when it is not a real emergency. As much as I love her, sometimes she calls at the worst time. One time of which was while I was interviewing for a job that would’ve increased my salary like no other.
On the day of my interview, I arrived casket-sharp with my resume on point and my hair styled perfectly. I looked like the next CEO of somebody’s company, and I studied the company and position enough to be one. Before I walked into the building, I turned my phone on low and on vibrate and confidently walked in. During the interview, I answered questions well and I was very charming. However, during my interview response on my strategy for my first 90 days, my phone went into a loud buzzing mode and I could not get it out of my pad-folio to shut it off. Meanwhile, the interviewer looked at me annoyingly as I nervously wrestled with my pad-folio. When I couldn’t get it out, I tried to talk loudly over the vibration, but then I just sounded loud and dumb. Morale of the story: Don’t make the same interview mistake that I did. Turn off your phone ahead of time (and tell ma’ to stop calling so much!).
As both the interviewee and interviewer, I have made so many stupid mistakes and I have seen other people make mistakes that make mine look normal. The next time you are up for a job, be sure to not make the same mistakes below:
1. Avoid smoking right before the interview
I’m not a smoker, but I know that for some people having a puff can help calm their nerves (or may just be a way of life for them). Nonetheless, every person is not immune to the smell of smoke and some even can’t stand the smell of it. When you walk into the interview, you do not want to be remembered as the person that had an odor.
2. Don’t text and scroll on Facebook
It is always proper etiquette to show up for an interview at least 10 to 15 minutes in advance. During your minutes of waiting to be interviewed, it can be so tempting to pull out your phone and see what’s on Facebook or any other social network. Although it is tempting, you have to resist it and stray away from scrolling on your phone. It simply looks unprofessional and honestly, there are more productive things that you can do while you wait.
3. Choose comfort over cuteness
If you are like me, you live for a good heel. Just like the saying, everything that glitters isn’t gold, every heel that is cute isn’t comfortable. It doesn’t matter if you are prancing around in six inch heels or kitten heels, if a shoe isn’t comfortable, it just isn’t. Days before your interview, test out the shoes you are planning to wear to see how relaxing they are. While you are at in the company’s building, you don’t want to be caught removing your heels for your comfy flip flops.
4. Try to not to do the nervous twist
Often when people are nervous they may tap their pen or swivel around in their chair. Before the interview, do a mock interview with family and friends to help ease your nerves. Also, do your research and study ahead of time and that will help eliminate feelings of inadequateness or nervousness as well. If you are nervous in an interview and move around in your chair often, the interviewer will be more focused on your next move instead of what is coming out of your mouth.
5. Don’t curse like a sailor
When you interview, you should definitely find a way to be comfortable – but don’t get too comfortable where you unconsciously forget boundaries and levels of professionalism. I interviewed someone once that said “damn” more times than I have ever heard. The dude was really relaxed and I don’t think he even realized the words that were coming out of his mouth.
6. The interviewers are not your friend, so don’t treat them as such
I interviewed at one place where the people interviewing me were really young and seemed down to earth. During the interview phase where we all ate lunch together, I became really comfortable and my professionalism decreased. Because the interviewers were really laid back, I unknowingly started treating them like they were my friend and it began to feel like I was just having a casual Chipotle lunch with my good friends. After the interview, I was of course not hired and was still jobless.
7. Don’t be a stuck-up diva
People like to work with people that they like. Even more, people like to work with people that are friendly and have positive attitudes. When you are interviewing and enter into the building, smile and be cordial. Speak to people that you see and as you are waiting in the lobby, feel free to spark a friendly conversation with the secretary (if he or she doesn’t appear to be too busy). No one likes to be around people with diva-ish attitudes so change your language and attitude.
What other mistakes have you made that you wish didn’t make? Let us know below!