The competition for jobs can be pretty stiff and getting yourself to the top of the list of candidates is no easy task. If you’ve already leaped the first hurdle and landed yourself an interview, here are four things you should avoid during the interview to give you the best chance of outshining the competition.
1. Don’t Be Late
Showing up late can end your chances of landing the job before you even answer a single question. Even a legitimate reason for being late is hard to recover from. Plan to be at the interview location about fifteen minutes before the scheduled time and make sure this happens by aiming to be at least an hour early. If you end up not needing the extra time, stop by a local coffee shop to collect your thoughts and pass the time.
2. Don’t Be Unprepared
Failing to do your homework before the interview can make it seem like you’re not that interested in the position. Comb through every inch of the company’s website and blogs and search for news and articles on the web. Learn everything you can about where the company has been and where it wants to go and know ahead of time where you fit in to that plan.
3. Don’t Fake the Weakness Question
If you’re asked about your weaknesses, don’t try to smooth it over with a strength disguised as a weakness. This strategy is old and busted and interviewers are tired of fake answers. Instead, find a true weakness that isn’t directly related to the job but would add value to you as an employee if you were to improve.
For example, if you’re interviewing for an accounting position, maybe you could polish up your writing skills a bit. Or, if you’re interviewing for an administrative position, maybe you’d like to learn more about using Excel spreadsheets.
4. Don’t Discuss the Compensation
The interview is not the time to bring up the compensation package. If the interviewer brings it up, listen to what the company typically offers but do not engage in any negotiating. Wait until you’ve been made an actual offer to talk about the salary.
Remember to Be Courteous
From the janitor to the president, everyone in the company will be judging your behavior from the moment you walk in the door. You never know if that guy in jeans in the reception area is a delivery person or the company president so be friendly to everyone. Lastly, don’t forget to send a thank-you letter after the interview!