1. Forgetting to Smile– Take a deep breath, relax, and smile!
  2. Not Bringing a Resume– Bring a resume to every interview no matter if it is in person, on the phone, or via video. Just because you applied does not mean they will have a copy with them.
  3. Failing to Do Your Homework!-  We have heard stories about candidates who asked, “So what does the company do?” The interview usually does not go much longer.  Research the company before you go for the interview. The company website, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and a Google search are great places to look.  Learn about the company’s history, mission, products or services, culture, and what they are all about.
  4. Not Asking Questions- Now that you have done your homework, prepare questions for each person you meet. Companies want to see if you are excited about them and if you want to learn. An interview is your chance to evaluate the company as much as they are evaluating you.
  5. Avoiding Answering Questions- When you get asked a question, take a second to pause and think about your answer. One of the most prominent frustrations interviewers have is when a candidate gives a one-word answer, goes on an irrelevant rant, or gives a roundabout answer.
  6. Talking Badly About Previous Employers or Managers- Your past employer or boss may very well be the reason you are looking for a job, but one of the worst mistakes you can make is talking badly about a previous employer. It can be a very dangerous slope and in the end, your negative comments may make you look bad. Keep your reasons for looking for a job positive, future-focused, and about the opportunity at the new company.
  7. Dressing Poorly- Appearance is a big part of the first impression. What you wear can give the interviewer an instant impression. Not every company expects a suit and tie, so do some research and try to figure out what the appropriate clothing would be. It never hurts to be overdressed. No matter what job you are going for, sweatpants are never acceptable. You don’t want to appear careless, smell, or look dirty in the interview.
  8. Being Unprofessional- Sometimes people get way too comfortable when interviewing. One candidate was recently turned down for putting his legs on the table and arms up on his head. Another candidate was found lying on couches in the library.  Stand/sit up straight and be attentive. Language is another key. Do not swear. Even a little slip could turn a manager away.
  9. Arriving Late- Be on time! Leave with plenty of time to spare in case you hit traffic or get lost. Interviewers do not want to wait for you to arrive. When you are getting close be very careful driving, especially as you approach the parking lot. I once cut a car off to get into a parking lot for an interview. The hiring manager asked me what kind of car I drove and smiled when I told her.  She was the one I had cut off! I did not get that job.
  10. Forgetting to Send a Thank You (Email, Text, or Card)– A thank you note is a great chance to stay in mind and continue to leave a positive impression on the interview team.  Email has taken over as the preferred way to send thank-you notes. You can send your note in the evening after the interview or the next day.

Interviewing is not easy!  Take plenty of time to practice and prepare