1. Arrival Time – Timing is key, too early can be just as bad as being ‘just on time.’ A safe bet is planning to arrive at the reception desk 15 minutes prior to the interview time!
  2. Cell Phone – A cell phone on vibrate is just as distracting as a cell phone ringing during an interview. Even though you think you turned it off, it’s not… just leave it in the car.
  3. Poor AttireYou have one chance at making a first impression – Business Professional is our standard expectation for attire no matter what level role you are applying too. An iron and washing machine are always a good idea and do not over due the cologne/perfume!
  4. Vague AnswersIf you do not understand the question asked, do not dance around with a vague answer. Instead, ask the interviewer to rephrase the question. Anticipate the questions where you know your experience is light or if you do not have a skill and be prepared to answer why that is not going to be a problem or relate it to a similar experience.
  5. “I’ll Take Anything”This sounds desperate. Instead explain your experience is in “x” and you are looking for roles such as “x, y or z” BUT you are certainly open to hearing of any other positions they think your skills or personality would be a match.
  6. Being NegativeThe negative tone whether in person or over the phone is evident almost immediately. Companies want to hire a positive go-getter. When asked a question always remain positive in tone and answer even if you do not have a certain skill or experience or if have been out of work for a few months. Practice how you can turn a negative into a positive.
  7. No Follow UpThis is a must that will show a company you are interested. If you do not have an email address, write a handwritten note or leave a voicemail after hours. The worst case is if you are a finalist for a role and they hire the other person because they showed initiative!
  8. Talking About Benefits Too Soon On a phone interview or a first interview asking about benefits can be an automatic strike one. The purpose of the interview is to get the offer, focus on giving them reasons why you are the right candidate. Save the money/benefit questions until the second interview or when an offer is presented.
  9. Not Researching The Company A hiring manager will know if you spent time researching the company and if you ‘understand’ the role you are applying. When you are asked do you have any questions… You should have questions that would relate to the company and your role with them. Stand out, do your homework!
  10. Lack of Confidence Again, first impressions are everything – confidence, especially in this economy, is key to remaining in the running for a role. In order to convince the company, you would be a good hire you have to convince yourself first!

Interview Questions - What it all Boils Down to

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