As you may have learned from our previous blog, In the Interview: Tips & Advice, you only have around 90 seconds to make a winning impression; you have to make every second count. We have already dedicated two blogs to giving you advice on what to do in the interview, but what about the stuff you shouldn't do?
The heading speaks for itself, DON’T BE LATE! Being late is the number one killer for job applicants.
Don't go into the interview knowing nothing about the job. Prepare yourself! There is nothing worse than knowing nothing about the company and then getting the question, “Do you know what we do,” or, “What makes you want to work here?” Please, for your own sake, Google the company name or use sites like LinkedIn and others to identify the company culture and familiarize yourself with their office dynamic.
Unfortunately, your Jordans or your crop top will have to remain in your closet. Imagine that your grandmother and James Bond suddenly became BFFs and hand-selected your interview outfit together. You want have just the right amount of swagger while also remaining appropriate (thanks, grandma). Don't wear anything that is too stylish. You want to appear clean cut and simple; your personal style can shine later once you get the job.
Usually the first thing most people do when they introduce themselves is shake hands. When it comes to handshaking, there are two distinct types of people you don't want to be:
- Type One: Noodle arms. This person has the weakest of the handshakes. When Noodle Arms goes in for the handshake, their hand turns to mush and their arm turns into, well... a noodle. Wobbly, wiggly, and awkward, this handshake tells the interviewer, “I’m nervous and maybe a little afraid. I do not have the confidence of a leader.”
- Type Two: The Hulk. “Hello nice to meet— Ouch, wait—did you just break my hand?” The Hulk does not know their strength and often crushes your hand to death. This person can be seen as aggressive, overly-confident, and brash, plus each time they shake someone’s hand they are practically assaulting them.
The perfect handshake is somewhere in between. Be confident and reach out with a firm handshake that shows your confidence and avoids being too aggressive.
The interview is neither an interrogation or a staring contest. Making too much eye contact is just downright scary, but making next to no eye contact makes you look sketchy. Don't do these things! Be like Goldilocks, find the amount of eye contact that is just right.
There is a very fine line between charmingly vocal, and projectile word vomit. Talk too much and share too much information and you may seem like a “Chatty Cathy.” Talk too little and you will seem serious, brooding, and unfriendly. Don’t be unfriendly!
The interview is over, and you feel temped to run out the door and heave a sigh of relief -- don't! Stay where you are and ask questions. Show genuine interest in the job. Ask them about their expectations and what they like about working there.
Don't leave without making a personal connection with the interviewer! Ask them about their plans for the week, talk to them about their favorite food, make them feel like the star of the show. Your interviewer spent hours looking through resumes and chose you, now you need to make them see why you chose them as a company. Everyone needs a little ego boost every now and then, so make sure that you give them some time to shine. Overall, interviews are a cake walk as long as you know what not to do! Stick to these tips, be yourself and, most importantly, have fun with it.