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6 Job Interview Blunders to Avoid


9/12/2011 4:04:19 PM

What Happens After You Submit Your Resume? By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

Every job seeker knows that a job interview can make for a tense experience. You want to make the right first impression, which is sometimes easier said than done. The good news is that there are some mistakes you can outright avoid if you know what they are. Let’s take a look at six common job interview blunders you can easily avoid:

1. Showing Up at the Wrong Time

It’s a given that you shouldn’t show up too late for an interview, but did you know that showing up too early can be annoying too? Hiring managers are busy people who schedule interviews around other work. If you show up 30 minutes early, it’s likely that you’re requiring them to stop what they’re doing to accommodate you. To play it safe, show up no more than 15 minutes early.

2. Wearing the Wrong Attire

Another mistake some candidates make is wearing the wrong attire to the interview. If your clothes are too casual or revealing, you might offend the interviewer. To play it safe, keep a neatly ironed business suit hanging in your closet just for interviews.

Stage 3 - Moving Higher Up

If you seem to be a good fit for the company initially, the recruiter or other company representative will likely send your resume to the hiring manager or other person in charge of making the ultimate decision. At this point, the resume is placed in the “interview pile” for the person’s supervisor or the key hiring manager—and the interviewing process begins.

3. Getting Too Familiar

Having an outgoing personality can be an amazing asset when interviewing for a job—as long as you don’t use it to get too familiar with interviewers (e.g., talking about family problems, etc.). Unless they initiate it, you could find that you’ve unintentionally turned that person off by revealing too much about yourself.

4. Bad-Mouthing a Previous Employer

It’s a big no-no to bad-mouth a previous employer—or anyone for that matter. Employers would much rather hire a Positive Patty than a Negative Nelly. And they really look down upon a candidate who bad-mouths other employers. So if you have something bad to say about someone, do the best you can to keep it to yourself.

5. Bringing Beverages or Food

You may be starving or completely dehydrated, but whatever you do, don’t bring your own food or drinks into the interview. Not only can it be a distraction for the interviewer to watch you chewing while talking, he or she may actually be sensitive to certain smells. So do your best to wait out your hunger or thirst until the interview is over. But if the interviewer offers you something like bottled water, you can take it. Just be sure to sip from it sparingly between questions.

6. Forgetting Important Details

During the interview, it’s important to make sure you don’t forget important details about the company, including the manager’s name, the job you’re applying for, duties, and a brief company history. The manager wants you to know about the company you’re applying to, as you should. So take time to study this info before the interview.

Avoiding these mistakes may seem like a no-brainer to some, but they are actually easy to make. So to play it safe, take time to review this list when you score the next interview.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - September 15, 2011.

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