We’ve all heard the same general rules that apply for interviewing, yet time and time again, jobs are lost on some very basic interview mistakes. Here are 3 basic interview guidelines that should NEVER be ignored.
1) You are what you wear. Too many people make common mistakes when it comes to their appearance. When it comes to interviewing, there is one simple thing to keep in mind. Always wear a suit. Unless you are in a profession where a suit may make you stand out as an awkward choice for the job, you should ALWAYS wear a professional business suit. The suit should be dark or neutral colored. For men, black, navy blue or charcoal makes the most sense. Women have much more color variation but neutrality is a good rule of thumb. Some employers when struggling to make a hiring decision, will look to the small details to choose a candidate. The candidate who does not wear the appropriate clothes to the interview gets ruled out first because they don’t “show initiative.”
2) No limp fish handshake. Every single interviewer that you meet with will evaluate your hand-shake. While this might seem a minute detail, it is one that is often times used to judge personality and confidence. Make sure that your hand-shake is firm and confident but don’t pull the other person’s arm off either.
3) Everyone knows your current job is less than ideal otherwise you wouldn’t be interviewing. Anytime someone is looking for a new opportunity when they are currently employed it is because you are seeking something that is missing in your opportunity. However, this does not give you license to be negative about your current boss or company. Even the most subtle statement can be perceived as negative so think thoroughly to answers for questions regarding your current job. For example, saying something like, “ I have been there longer than my boss so I know more about the company that he does,” can be perceived as very negative. You can re-phrase a statement like that to sound more like this: “My tenure at the company has allowed to be one of the most knowledgeable people there but the opportunities to use that knowledge for growth are limited.” This minimizes how much judgment you pass on about your current employer.
Many people spend so much time preparing for interviews and doing research that some of the basics are completely ignored. To ensure that you don’t fall victim to a common pitfall, take the time to prepare and rehearse the interview process. Use all your resources and utilize books that walk through basic interview steps.