1. Don’t be late. Nothing says ‘unreliable’ quite like showing up late for the interview.
Do: Phone ahead to ask directions or do an online search and print out directions. Or use your GPS. If you really can’t be there on time, call as soon as you realize you’ll be late.
2. Don’t be rude. During the interview, text your friends to let them know how it’s going.
Do: Switch off your cell phone and give the interviewer your undivided attention.
3. Don’t be a slob. Turn a first impression into a worst impression by appearing with unwashed hair, dirty nails, or wrinkled, overly casual clothes.
Do: Remember the rule: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.
4. Don’t be clueless. Say, “So tell me, what is it you guys do again?”
Do: Make sure to research the company before you go to the interview. Today, with Google and other search engines, there are no excuses not to be informed before you go.
5. Don’t be disorganized. Dig in your purse or pockets for a folded-up, dog-eared resume. Ask the interviewer to refresh your memory as to exactly which job the interview is for.
Do: Get your act together before you go! In the employer’s mind, being disorganized equates with being irresponsible and possibly incompetent.
6. Don’t be outdated. Resurrect that great resume that got you a job in 1989! Do it up on your grandmother’s electric typewriter!
Do: Keep up with current technology. The fact is, as technology changes, what is appropriate in a resume or interview changes. Find out what’s new in resumes, like ASCII or resume scanning software.
7. Don’t be too cutting-edge. Job-seekers with facial tattoos, multiple body piercings and purple hair can still find work, but keep in mind that your opportunities may be limited by the image you project.
Do: Consider removing some facial jewellery and covering up the giant skull tattoo on your arm, if you’re applying for a job at, say, a conservative accounting firm.
8. Don’t talk too little. Sit there mutely, responding to questions with nods, one-word answers and the occasional mumble, while staring at the floor.
Do: Go online and check out common interview questions, and think about how you would respond.
9. Don’t talk too much. Regale the interviewer with a non-stop monologue about your life history, favourite hobbies, and what a wonderful employee you would be if they hired you.
Do: Talk about 50% of the time, and listen for the rest. One hiring expert says many people have talked themselves right out of a job at the interview, by not knowing when to be quiet
10. Don’t bring your girlfriend. Seriously, this really happened. One young man brought his girlfriend with him when he applied for a job. She sat beside him during the interview. He did not get the job.
Lorraine E. Wright – http://21stcenturyresumes.ca – 21st Century Resumes specializes in resumes and cover letters that are technology-friendly and attention-grabbing, designed uniquely for each job searcher, in a way that presents them at their very best in today’s crowded and competitive job market.