The dreaded job interview. No matter your resume and talents
if you mess this up you won’t get the job. In today’s tough economy you need
every possible edge. You want to be liked – It’s just as important as your formal
qualifications. In other words the most qualified applicant doesn’t always get
the job. Often it’s the most likeable one.
Here are ten simple things to do that
will dramatically increase your chances: from wearing the right expression, to
knowing what not to say, to never ever breaking a sweat.
1. Don’t be a Smiley Face
Excessive smiling in a job interview is seen for what it is –nervousness and a
lack of confidence. A Smiley Face exudes phoniness, which will quickly be
picked up by the interviewer. Instead be thoughtful and pleasant. Smile when
there’s something to smile about.
2. Don’t be a Know-It-None
Your job is to be knowledgeable about the company for which you’re
interviewing. Random facts about last night’s episode of “Dancing with the
Stars” episode or your favorite blog will not get you the job. Never feel
you have to fill an interview with small talk. Find ways to talk about serious
subjects related to the industry or company. Pockets of silence are better than
padding an interview with random babble.
3. Don’t Sweat
You can lose a job by wearing an undershirt or simply a little too much
clothing. Sweaty palms or beads on your forehead will not impress. You are not
applying to be a personal trainer. Sweat will be seen as a sign of weakness and
nervousness. The job interview is one
place you definitely don’t want to be hot.
4. Put down that Stop Sign
Interviewers are seeking candidates eager to take on challenging projects and
jobs. Hesitance and a nay saying mentality will be as visible as a red tie –
and seen as a negative. Practice saying “yes” to questions about your
interest in tasks and work that might normally give you pause. Learn to move
your head up and down and not sideways.
5. Don’t be Shallow
Asking the location of the lunchroom or meeting room will clue the interviewer
into your lack of preparation and initiative. Prepare. Don’t ask questions
about routine elements or functions of a company: where stuff is, the size of
your cube and company policy on coffee breaks. Ask insightful questions. If you sense there is interest in you,
inquire about taking a look at the environment you’re expected to work in.
6. Don’t be a Liar-Liar
Studies show that employees lie frequently in the workplace. Lying won’t get
you a job. In a job interview even a slight exaggeration is lying. Don’t never
stretch your resume or embellish accomplishments. There’s a difference between
speaking with a measured confidence and engaging in BS. One lie can ruin your
entire interview, and the skilled interviewer will spot the lie and show you
7. Don’t Be a Bad Comedian
Humor tends to be very subjective and while it may be tempting to lead your
interview with a joke you’ve got to be careful about your material. You
probably will know nothing about the sensibilities of your interviewer, let
alone what makes them laugh. On the other hand, nothing disarms the tension of
a job interview like a little laughter, so you can probably score at least a
courtesy chuckle mentioning that it’s “perfect weather for a job interview!” Or
maybe admire a trophy, a picture or a plaque on or around the interviewer’s
office. All are good for loosening up.
8. Don’t Be High Maintenance
If you start talking about the ideal office temperature, the perfect chair for
your tricky back, and how the water cooler needs to be filled with imported
mineral water, chances are you’ll be shown a polite smile and the door,
regardless of your qualifications. Nobody hiring today is going to be looking
for someone who’s going to be finicky about their workspace.
9. Don’t Be A Minute Man
At every job interview; the prospective hire is given the chance to ask
questions. Make yours intelligent, to the point and watch the person across the
desk for visual cues whether you’ve asked enough. Ask too many questions about
off-target matters and you’ll be thought of as someone who is destined to waste
the company’s resources with insignificant and time-wasting matters.
10. Don’t Talk negative about former employers
Don’t “trash talk” your former employer. If you make it seem like your former
workplace was hell on Earth, the person interviewing you might be tempted to
call them to find out who was the real devil.
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