Its 2018, you have your first interview of the year. You are all dressed up and primed to get that dream job you’ve always wanted. The sad fact is that many people focus so much on rehearsing company facts and missions and vision that they forget the small, very important things that can prevent them from landing their ideal job.

Regardless of what career field you’re in, this is your chance to make a good impression and show how the company could benefit from hiring you onto their team.  Here are 8 common interview mistakes to avoid in order to put your best foot forward and prove you’re the right candidate for the job.

1. Negative body language

Chewing gum and fiddling with your hair are the obvious ones to avoid. Fidgeting with your cell phone is also a no-no. A recent study found that a full third of millennials think it’s acceptable to text during the job interview. Put away your cell phone once you get near the interview room, don’t be tempted to take it out afterwards, even if you’re waiting for the interview to start. Try to focus on doing a great interview.

Remember, Actions speak louder than words — other actions like crossing your arms while staring at the interviewer’s desk accessories is probably one you don’t want to indulge in. Even though it’s understandable to want to take in the company environment, it’s unnecessary to appear distracted while doing so. Sometimes it’s not so much what you say, but how you present yourself as you say it — thus, be mindful of your body language and remember that there are other ways to express your interest besides verbally stating it.


2. Not Doing Your Research

Despite the things in an interview you don’t have control over, your knowledge on the company isn’t one of them. Do your research, prepare your questions, pitch your ideas, and be confident that you’ve done everything in your power to ensure you’ll stand out from the other candidates — instead of getting lost in the crowd of them. By putting in the extra effort, you’ll not only feel more relaxed during the interview, but will also prove your willingness to learn — and have answers that reflect this.

3. Not Showing Up on Time

If we’re being honest, being late is a trait that no one approves of — and having it as a first impression is one that’s truly disappointing. From unpredictable traffic to impossible parallel parking, the reasons for your potential tardiness are endless — which is why you should take the time to prepare for any inconveniences beforehand. Leave earlier than usual, call and ask where you can park, and know yourself enough to work with your schedule to show up (on time) to every obligation you’ve agreed to.

4. Talking Negatively About Your Previous Employer

Don’t say negative things about people or companies – no matter how much you feel they deserve it. It makes you look childish and petty, and people don’t want to hire people who are childish and petty.

5. Failing to elaborate on Answers

It is expected that you will elaborate on any statements you make in the interview. It shows that you have proof of demonstrable experience. You can articulate it well and can provide relevant examples where necessary. Your ability to share the lessons you learned through your monthly collaboration with a past coworker, for example,  will be a bonus in the interview.

6. Memorizing and reciting answers

If you have to memorize and recite answers so much that you stutter and seem uneasy with the facts then thats a sign that you are trying to cram too many facts all at once.  Even though it’s easy to fall into the trap of memorizing answers word-for-word, keep in mind that the reason you’re practicing is to expose yourself to typical questions and to collect your reasons on why you’re a good fit for the company.

7. Lying

Fifty-eight percent of employers have caught a candidate in a resume lie, while 31% of people admit to having lied on a resume.  Make sure that dated and roles as well as descriptions on your resume and cover letter are 100% accurate. Anything on your resume or cover letter that can be construed as a misrepresentation should be clear and not subject to misinterpretation.

8. Forgetting to follow up

Always remember to follow-up to say thank you for the interview as well as to state how much you enjoyed discussing the role with the interview panel. You could also state that you are available for any follow-up questions or to provide additional information, as needed.

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