Preparation is an important factor when it comes to job interviews. However, you must be extra careful of your actions and the impression you make. Reviewing and practicing your answers won’t be enough if you don’t know how to conduct yourself properly once you enter the room.
Here are some job interview pitfalls you want to avoid to prevent turning off your interviewers:
1. Only looking at one of the interviewers. This applies to those called in for a group interview. If you have several people on the panel, make sure to look everyone in the eye and speak to each of them individually. Don’t just address your answers to one person.
2. Too formal. Keep in mind that interviewers want to get to know you better. If you’re too formal, it can be very difficult for the interviewer to get a real sense of you. Though you don’t want to sound too casual, don’t be reserved to the point that your personality won’t show during the conversation. Be warm and sincere during the interview. (Being yourself will make the interview seem easier.)
3. Using question time as a way to re-emphasize your strong points. If the employer asks you questions regarding the position you’re applying for, make sure to ask genuine questions to help you stand out from other applicants. Don’t use the time to create an obvious sales pitch for yourself. Be sure to listen as much as you speak.
4. Not paying attention.
Watch an interviewer’s cues to know when you should or shouldn’t contribute to the conversation. Listen to his or her questions carefully. Make sure you are attentive to avoid looking bored (which can happen if the interviewer isn’t communicating the way you hoped).
Job interviews should help you build a personal brand that you’re proud of. If you’ve been called in, it means you have the potential to work for the company you’ve applied to. Now is the time to showcase your skills and experience and explain what you can bring to the table for the company’s benefit.