Okay, you just scored an interview! Now you have to prepare for your big day. Clayton Services, the leading recruiters in Houston, know a thing or two about interviewing. For 35 years, we have met with thousands of job seekers. Literally, thousands!
To help with interview preparation, we have come up with a list of five things to avoid doing during an interview. Avoiding these five simple things can make a huge difference in the success of your next interview!
1. Don't Be Late!
First things first, don't ever be late to an interview. Ever! This may sound like an easy one, but this can make or break your first impression on a potential employer. There aren't many (if any) excuses that can make up for being late to an interview so try your best to avoid being late.
A good rule of thumb is to allow for a minimum of 30 extra minutes when traveling to interview. Always plan for the unexpected! If you're too early you can wait in the parking lot until it's time to go in the building. Being too early is way better than being too late.
1a. Never Reschedule An Interview
This may also sound like an easy one. However, believe or not this does happen quite often. Way too often! If you really want to land a particular job, never reschedule an interview unless you have an actual emergency. Otherwise, do your absolute best to make it to your interview at the originally scheduled day and time.
Don't make it easy for a potential employer to scratch you off the list of candidates. In today's market, there is no shortage of candidates so don't eliminate yourself before you even get an opportunity to interview!
2. Bad Eye Contact
Avoiding eye contact or gazing into space is a no-no during an interview! Maintaining good eye contact with the interviewer is vital. Poor eye contact gives off the impression of being untrustworthy and insecure. Good eye contact gives off the impression of confidence.
Confidence can help propel you to the finish line during a stressful interview. Confidence helps with self doubt and nervousness. During an interview confidence is king! You need all of it that you can get.
3. Poor Posture and Body Language
Did you know that your body language can actually shape who you are and what others think of you? During an interview be sure to sit up straight in your chair and make sure you're directly facing the interviewer. Don't slouch or lean back too far in your chair.
If your posture 'feels casual' it is likely too casual! Your body language can tell a story about the kind of person you are. Make sure it's telling a positive story!
4. Talking Too Much
There's a difference between answering questions and saying too much during an interview. Make sure you elaborate with your answers but don't go overboard.
You never want to get too comfortable in an interview and talk like you're in a social setting. Try to avoid talking about personal aspects of your life, family, or friends during an interview. No matter how well of a repoire you think you've built with your interviewer, never use slang or foul language.
When in doubt always keep it 100% professional during an interview. There's a difference between thoroughly answering questions and talking yourself out of a job. Don't talk yourself out of a job because you've said too much. Remember, this is an interview and sometimes less is more!
5. Not Following Up
This may be the easiest thing to do to increase your chances of landing a job. Surprisingly very few candidates actually take the time to do this nowadays. Following up with the interviewer and thanking them for their time can be the difference in landing you a job or not.
Most job seekers simply brush this off and overlook it. Following up via email is nice. An old-fashioned handwritten thank you note is even better. Way better.
If you really want to stand out you should take the time to handwrite a thank you note and drop it in the mail. Mail in most major cities gets delivered in one business day so get that thank you note in the mailbox right after your interview.
It doesn't have to be long either. Short and sweet is the way to go.
Check out a sample thank you note below:
Dear (Interviewer First Name),
Thank you for your time today. I enjoyed speaking with you and learning about your company. I remain extremely interested in this opportunity and am looking forward to hearing about the next steps. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any additional questions.
Candidate First and Last Name
5a. Not Silencing Your Mobile Devices
Another often overlooked and simple mistake to avoid. Double and triple-check that your mobile devices are on silent before you go into an interview. To be absolutely certain they won't ring or vibrate you can even power them completely off.
The last thing you want to happen is be mid-sentence explaining 'how you're the person for the job' and then suddenly your phone rings. You don't want to be that person. Don't overlook the small stuff!
Searching for a job opportunity in Houston?
Since 1984, Clayton Services has been the leading Houston recruiters. Clayton Services helps connect talented job seekers with some of Houston's leading companies. If you're searching for a job opportunity in the Houston area, contact our Houston recruiters today!