Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three Huge Job Interview Mistakes

Mistakes can be easy to make with something as nerve-wracking as a job interview.  You will most likely end up making some minor blunders no matter how hard you try, so don't get too discouraged.  There are some errors, however, that have bigger ramifications.  Let's take a look at three of the biggest job interview mistakes you should avoid:

  • Showing up too early.  Did you know that showing up to the interview too early can be just as bad as showing up late?  Interviewers are very busy, and showing up when you are not supposed to be there can make them feel like they have to stop what they are doing to deal with you.  What exactly is too early?  I'd say showing up any earlier than 10 minutes before your interview is pushing it.  If you do end up arriving earlier than expected, wait at a local coffee shop or some other location before going to the office.
  • Mixing up details.  Make sure you get all of the details of the organization right.  Nothing is more embarrassing than confusing the workings of one nonprofit with another one to which you applied.  On a related note, you should be sure to know the name of your interviewer.  It might seem like a minor mistake, but it's one that you can be judged harshly one.
  • Trash talking former employers.  Let's face it: There are some jobs that you had that you simply hated.  That doesn't mean you should express that hatred during the interview.  Hiring managers don't want to hear negativity from potential employees.  This doesn't mean you have to lie if you are asked why you left that company.  You can simply state that the work environment wasn't right for you, and that you wanted to explore greater opportunities.
There you have it: The three deadly sins of job interviews.  Do you have any others you think I left out?  Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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