Monday, June 17, 2013

10 Ways to Screw Up an Interview

Job interview mistakes; learn them, avoid them


Many books have been written on the interview process and the things that you need to do to in order to succeed in interviewing. When you have read one of these books, your head may be swimming with numerous hints and tips that you will try to execute in your next interview.

All that advice is well and good, but the thing all job seekers should strive for is simply not to screw up their job interview. If you manage to come through a job interview without messing up and damaging your chances you are going to be ahead of most of your competition. This article was originally written for private sector job seekers, so some of the ten items may not apply to federal interviews. Here are ten sure-fire ways to mess up in an interview.

1. Arrive late for the interview. The last thing you want to do is to show up late. An employer expects you to arrive timely for work; so showing up late for an interview really gets you off on the wrong foot. Some ways to avoid tardiness are:

• Getting complete instructions from the interviewer or the HR department. If possible ask them approximately how long it will take to drive (or take public transportation) to the interview site from where you will be coming. If it is a large company or plant, ask which building the interview is in and ask where you should park.
• If possible do a dry run, go to the interview site at the approximate time of day for which your interview is scheduled. This will give you a good idea of how long it will take.
• Give yourself at least a 15-minute cushion. It is far better to arrive early, than to arrive after your scheduled time.
• If all else fails (traffic jam, Presidential motorcade, act of God) call the interviewer to inform him or her that you will be late and the reasons for your lateness. Ask if they can still fit you in, or if you should reschedule.

2. Forget to perform a "Jam Check." If you have arrived with time to spare, you can use that time to double check your grooming. Head for the rest room and check yourself out in the mirror. Make sure your clothes are as they should be and check your hair and your teeth. Very few things will turn off an interviewer like spinach caught between your teeth.

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