10 Mistakes to Avoid During an Interview

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  1. Don’t be late.
    It sounds very simple, but you never know what might happen. Make sure you plan ahead for weather or traffic delays that will slow you down. A good rule of thumb is to allow an extra 30 minutes, just in case. If you do end up arriving more than 10-15 minutes early, hang out in your car or the nearest coffee shop, so you aren’t perceived as being too eager.
  2. Never dress casually.
    You only get one chance to make a first impression. Wear a dark suit with a wrinkle-free shirt and a tie that doesn’t stand out. Now is not the time to show your individuality. Make sure your shoes are shined and that you have dark socks on.
  3. Don’t show up empty handed.
    Make sure to bring a few copies of your resume with you, along with a notepad to take notes and a pen. You always want to be perceived as prepared and interested in the position you are interviewing for.
  4. Don’t omit information on the application.
    Do not, under any circumstances, write “see resume”. It may seem like a clever time saver to you, but the company could peg you as lazy and uninterested in the position.
  5. Bad breath.
    If you smoke, don’t do it right before your interview. If you have gum in your mouth, get rid of it, same with mints.
  6. Catching a phone interview on the fly.
    Make sure to treat phone interviews seriously. Although it does not seem as formal, it is your first impression and you want to make a good one. Make sure you are in a private place where you can speak freely. Don’t just duck into the nearest restroom.
  7. A ringing cell phone.
    If you do have your phone with you, make sure to turn it off. Nothing is more distracting and embarrassing during an interview than an annoying ringing cell phone.
  8. The guessing game.
    If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t guess at it. Share as much information as you do know about the subject and then let them know how you would go about finding out the information. No one expects you to know everything, so showing your resourcefulness will help you to stand out in a crowd.
  9. Don’t walk out empty handed.
    Make sure to collect business cards from each person that you meet with so you can send thank you emails afterwards.
  10. Don’t be afraid.
    If you are certain that you want the job, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know. Make it clear that you are excited and interested and let it be known.

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