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Interview Don'ts

You've finally landed an interview. Now that you have your foot in the proverbial door, make sure you avoid these job interview "don'ts."

1. Donít put off getting ready until the day of the interview. It is important to do your homework in advance on your potential employer. Research the company. Learn as much as you can so that you can answer questions and know what to expect. Research also helps you ask intelligent and insightful questions.

2. Donít wait until the day of the interview to decide what to wear. If possible, visit the workplace or research well to learn what the typical standard of dress is. Dress for the job you hope to obtain or a little better. It is important to avoid major over-dressing and under-dressing. A good general rule to follow is to dress slightly better than the work you plan to do. If you would typically work in a t-shirt and jeans, consider stepping up just a bit. Khakiís and a polo shirt with casual dress shoes as top-siders are good alternatives for both men and women. At least a few days before the interview, try on what you plan to wear to make sure it fits well. Check for spots, stains, missing buttons, or snagged fabric, and fix any problems you find before the interview.

3. Donít display your wild side. Unless youíre applying to be a tattoo artist, cover your tats, and remove your piercings. Avoid distracting jewelry, and choose conservative designs unless the job you are applying for is in a creative field such as fashion design.

4. Donít go in with your cell phone on. Seriously, just donít. It is best to turn off your phone before you go into the building, and put it away. Under no circumstances should you leave the ringer on. Even the silent buzzer can be distracting in the interview. And of course, donít answer your phone in the building.

5. If you go to the workplace to inquire about the status of your application, donít wear anything you would not wear to an interview.

6. Donít take your friends or family to the workplace. At best, you may appear desperate or as if you are attempting to inappropriately sway the opinion of the hiring manager. At worst, you may be seen as irresponsible or having a lot of baggage.

7. Donít pester the hiring manager or the secretary. While you may be very interested in the job, or you may really need the job, avoid becoming a pest. It is far better to send a polite note expressing your continued interest in the job rather than to call and pointedly ask when the interviews will be taking place. Your hiring manager may be extremely busy, or there may be other issues. Your hiring manager will not appreciate any attempt to pressure him or her to answer and may result in them marking you off the list to be interviewed.

8. No matter how informal the workplace may be, do not drop in unannounced and ask to be seen by the hiring manager.

7. Donít be rude to the secretary. Good support staffers know how to take care of their supervisors. If they sense, even a little bit, that you would be a problem co-worker, they will speak to the hiring manager about your behavior.

8. Donít forget to prepare at least two or three informed questions to ask the interviewer. In the first interview, these questions should be based on the job, and not your needs. How do you envision a typical work day? How do you envision this job evolving over time? What can you tell me about the culture of this company? What do you see as essential skills for this job?

9. Donít forget to express your interest in the position before you leave the interview. You could state that you are very interested and why you think you are well-suited for this position.

10. Donít forget to verbally thank the interviewer and also send a follow-up note. Your thank you note is also a good means of addressing any questions you may failed to answer during the interview or provide additional information.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Corlia Logsdon. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Corlia Logsdon. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Corlia Logsdon for details.



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