I’ve worked in HR for many moons now and I still get worked up about interviews. Going on job interviews can be a nerve shredding experience. You want to impress the interviewer with your skills and secure the position without being too “salesy” and you want to show your personality without getting too comfortable. There’s a lot at stake and it can make even the most calm, cool and collected person pretty nervous. As an HR professional (and someone who’s been on both sides of interviews), I’ve found that one of the best ways to beat interview anxiety is to be prepared. Here are 9 things NOT to do in your next interview that’ll help get you on your way to saying, “I got the job!”:
- Don’t forget to do your homework: Before your interview, check out the company’s website or ask current employees about what a typical day is like. Not only will doing this help you decide whether or not the company is a good fit for you, it’ll help you answer (and ask) questions the interviewer might have about what makes you the perfect person for the job
- Don’t be late: Showing up late to an interview will pretty much guarantee you don’t get the job. Try to get there at least 15 minutes early
- Don’t dress inappropriately: Check out this post for tips on how to dress for interview success.
- Don’t squirm: Biting your nails, chewing gum or rambling all make you seem nervous and your interviewer will pick up on it. The best way to fight interview jitters is to be as prepared as you can. If you still find yourself feeling anxious, take a deep breath and repeat some confidence boosting mantras to yourself
- Don’t complain about your boss: Any negative talk about current or past employers only reflect badly on you, not them
- Don’t let the interviewer do all the talking: Avoid answering questions with just a yes or no and don’t forget to ask questions. Potential employers want to know that you’re interested in the job and company. On the flip side, don’t dominate the conversation.
- Don’t be cocky: One of the biggest pieces of advice I give to people before an interview is to be confident. You should definitely take pride in your knowledge, skills and abilities, but make sure you don’t cross the line. Nobody likes a jerk. Be confident, but also be honest about where you could use some work. There is ALWAYS room to learn and grow
- Don’t lie: Lying on your resume or in an interview never ends well. Most companies perform background checks and even if you get hired, you could lose the job if you lied about something
- Don’t forget to follow up: Sending a quick thank you e-mail (or handwritten note for extra style points) can go a long way to helping you stand out after an interview.
What say you? What job interview tips would you add?