Let’s be honest: It’s not fair to pick on young job hunters because all of us make “mistakes.”
But sometimes you read about people’s behavior in an interview and it really makes you scratch your head. Why? Why? Why? Some interview sins are just incomprehensible.
However, it’s not only millennials who commit small, but critical, interview sins. Even if you’re not toting your pet to the interview, you’d be surprised at the things that job seekers do that aren’t ok. Have you been guilty of any of these interview no nos?
- Checking your watch. Do you have someplace better to be? I didn’t think so. Leave the watch at home so you’re not even tempted. Sometimes it’s just a habit, but if you look at the watch you are signaling disinterest.
- Having your phone or text go off. Even if it’s not an embarrassing ring tone (but I bet it is!) this is distracting and rude. It doesn’t matter who it is – even if it’s just your child letting you know they made it off the bus safely. If you so much as glance at a text during an interview, the obvious wonder is what you are going to be like as an employee. Would you forget and leave your phone on during a sales call? Are you readily distracted? There is NO excuse for a phone call/text to interrupt your meeting. Turn it off.
- Neglecting to bring something to write on. Even though paper seems so last decade, you don’t want to be tapping away on a tablet. Bring a professional looking folio with paper so you can take notes of things you want to follow up on or include in your thank you note. On that note, have a pen that works (this happened to me once and it was very embarrassing!) and remember that a high-quality instrument makes a statement.
- Drinking coffee. This is not a date and you don’t need to be woken up. If you are offered a drink, don’t accept, unless perhaps for a glass of water. Accepting a cup of coffee means someone has to do the work to get it for you, plus you have a juggling problem of where to put it while you talk or take notes.
- Asking about salary, vacation or perks. If this is a first interview, it’s a get-to-know-you meeting and you are in high-gear selling mode. It’s important to show your interest in the position by asking great questions about the work environment, day-to-day duties and the like, but jumping directly to the goods can be off-putting. You have plenty of time to talk about these details — and even a stronger negotiating position — after they’ve already fallen in love with you!
- Being Late. But you knew that.
While there are lots of things about an interview you can’t control, there are many you can. Look over this list of interview sins to make sure that you aren’t doing any of these little things that can make you a less appealing candidate.
by Cathie Ericson