The job of a great résumé is to win the interview. Once that has been achieved, it is then up to the candidate to land the job. Top-notch job seekers are aware of this and begin the process of preparing for the face-to-face meeting by doing the proper research, preparing questions, and the like. This is good practice, but unfortunately, they tend to forget about what they should not do on an interview, which is just as important, if not more. Saying or doing the wrong thing can cost you the job even if you have done everything else right. Taking note of the following tips can save you from small mistakes that can cost you the job.
Rule 1: Never Be Late
This is a common sense rule and some candidates miss it unintentionally due to unforeseen circumstances. To avoid this, give yourself extra time and arrive a few minutes early. If your interview is at 1pm and it only takes 10 minutes to get to the interview site, you should still leave at 12:20. You never know when there may be an accident (hopefully not you), a passing train, or a road closure. If you are unaware of the location, all the more reason to allow even more time to arrive. If you are more than 30 minutes early, find the location, and then feel free to drive around the corner to a coffee shop. You will have extra time to collect yourself and relax before stepping into the interview.
Rule 2: Do Not Talk About Climbing the Ladder
Having drive and being outgoing is a good thing in an interview. However, focus on the current opportunity and not your plan to run the company in a few years. An interviewer wants to know that you have a sincere interest in the job that is available today. They want to know that you take it seriously and plan to excel in that position. If you get the job, do well and let your desire to advance show through your achievements.
Rule 3: Steer Clear of the Money Talk
Though salary is important, try to steer the focus of you initial interview the value you can bring to the company and to the position. Never initiate the topic of money or benefits, but rather seek to understand the nature of the position first. Sell yourself and your talents to the hiring manager. Inquiring about company benefits will shift the focus to your personal objective and to how you can make the company better. Save the money conversation for later, when there is expressed interest in bringing you aboard. Until then, focus on the position responsibilities, expectations, and your capabilities. The best way to a higher salary is to show them that they cannot afford to pass over you.
Rule 4: Never Show Up Unprepared
Before you head out to your interview, do your homework on the job and the company. Learn as much as you can about the business, company, department, and position, if possible. This shows your interest in having a career with the company and not just a temporary job until you can find something better. Prepare questions for your interviewer. Talk intelligently about what you offer. If someone shows up for an interview and appears unsure or lacks confidence, a job offer is very unlikely. An interviewer wants to know that you understand their business and its goals and that you’re just the right person to achieve them.
By just avoiding these few things, you will have a much better chance at making a good first impression, winning the interview, and getting the job. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!