Recognizing some of the most common interviewing "don'ts" can help you succeed in interviews. Here are seven frequent mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Running late: This may sound obvious and simple enough, but sometimes things out of your control can get in your way. Aim to arrive about 10 minutes early, and plan out your route to the office the night before.
- Neglecting your clothes: A suit is typically expected; even if it's not, err on the conservative side with your attire. Before heading into the meeting, conduct a final check to make sure everything is in order.
- Skipping researching the company: An Accountemps survey found the biggest mistake applicants make in interviews is not knowing enough about the firm. Check out local business journals, tap members of your network for their insights and work with a staffing firm who can offer additional information.
- Exaggerating your interest or qualifications: While it's important to express enthusiasm for the position, candidates who answer every question with upbeat eagerness may come across as insincere. Also avoid overstating your qualifications.
- Being negative: Avoid disparaging comments regarding former employers, colleagues and companies. Also stay away from self–deprecating comments, which do not support a positive image or demonstrate competence.
- Talking compensation too soon: Although many employers are fine with candidates asking about salary and benefits by the second interview, it's typically best to err on the side of caution and let the hiring manager bring it up first.
- Forgetting to send a thank-you: Whether via email or a handwritten note, send a thank-you to everyone who met with you. More than common courtesy, this gesture gives you another chance to highlight why you would be a good fit for the job and distinguish yourself from other applicants.