5 ways to screw up an interview

Finding a job you want is like finding a needle in a haystack. Getting an interview is no small feat, either—which is why you should avoid the following, if you actually want to get the job! Why? Because interview etiquette is one of the many ways an employer judges potential hires. In light of that, avoid the following:

 

1. Inappropriate dress

Every office, of course, has different rules when it comes to dress code. Some are more formal while others—start-ups, for example—may be more relaxed. Still, during an interview it pays to dress on the more conservative side. In other words, play it safe. It’s always better to overdress than underdress. Consider a professional-looking suit or skirt and don’t forget your other interview essentials.

 

2. Arriving late (or too early)

In the working world, time is money. Arriving late suggests you don’t know that fact, or don’t care. That isn’t the signal you want to send. Arriving too early, on the other hand—say, anything more than fifteen minutes before your scheduled interview—could disrupt your interviewer’s schedule, which may annoy them.

 

3. Not turning off your cell phone

If your cell phone rings, beeps, or even vibrates during your interview, you’re only interrupting yourself. Plus, you’re conveying forgetfulness to your interviewer, which isn’t exactly a desirable trait.

 

4. Not practicing your answers to typical interview questions

It’s important to have satisfying answers to most interview questions you might be asked. The best way to do that? Prepare answers ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than coming up short when your interviewer asks, “When have you overcome adversity?” or, “When have you demonstrated leadership?” Expect questions about your skills, your education, your job history, why you applied for the position, and more. Tip: check out these weird interview questions and learn how to answer them.

 

5. Talking in clichés or using buzzwords

Describing yourself as “organized” or “results-oriented” is typical, and more or less meaningless. It doesn’t actually prove you’re either of those things. Instead, describe how you’re organized or results-oriented. Use examples from school or previous work experience/internships.

 

good luck

 

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