You've finally scored a job interview. You prepare, practice and feel confident about your chances. But you're not home free just yet - here are five interview mistakes that will completely blow your chances of getting a new job.
1. Be rude
Many hiring managers take notice of how you treat people, (especially support staff). Being polite to just the interviewer isn't going to cut it. Remember, the people who answer the phones and clean the building deserve as much respect as the interviewer. A good rule of thumb is to be nice to everyone - before and after your actual interview. We heard this real-life horror story from a hiring manager: A man who was running late for a job interview got stuck behind a slow-moving car and began tailgating the car while honking his horn. When both drivers pulled into the same lot, and he ran over to the other driver and yelled at her for making him late. He rushed into the building, got to his interview… and found out the woman he had just yelled at was his interviewer. Spoiler alert! He did not get the job.
2. Don't research the company
Do a little research on the company before the interview. Find out about their competitors, their history and even who runs the company. The more you know about the company you're interviewing for, the less likely you are to say something that will make you look silly - and the more likely you are to get the job. Walking into an interview for a Hardee's job and telling them how much you love their famous Big Mac isn't going to go over well.
3. Make inappropriate comments
Be very careful and stay far, far away from off-color topics like drinking, drugs and any other illegal activities. A joke that's hilarious to you might be offensive to an interviewer. We know of one person who made jokes about how hungover she was during a job interview, and another who asked if the drug policy was “actually enforced”. We're not saying you shouldn't be your normal funny self; we're just saying tone it down when you’re in a job interview.
4. Distract the interviewer
Don’t wear or do anything that takes attention away from your qualifications. Pass up flashy jewelry, heavy scents and tight or revealing clothing. Wear your hair out of your face. Don’t fidget (holding a folder with your resume inside is a great way to keep your hands still). Don’t chew gum, and remember to turn off your cell phone before you ever step into the building.
5. Bad-mouth past employers
Never, ever bad-mouth former employers during a job interview. No matter how bad your situation was, do your best to put a positive spin on your employment history. Instead of saying, "I didn't like my job and my boss and I didn't get along," say, "It wasn't the right job for me, but I learned a lot about the retail business and got some great experience." Employers want to hire upbeat, happy people - so the more positive you can be in the job interview, the better.