There are very few people in this world who can actually say that their job hunting process was short, sweet, and enjoyable. It’s a rabid dog-eat-dog world out there, and the road to job employment and security is long and grueling. If you’re gearing up for your first go at job applications and interviews, here are a few mistakes you might want to steer clear of to better your chances at landing that job.
Lying About Your Levels of Proficiency and Skills
The desire and tendency to impress the interviewer is great, which explains why this is among the most common mistakes that first-time applicants make. Employers don’t usually expect applicants to have mastery of the skill set they require. So if you have limited knowledge on programs/applications, and other business processes, let your employer know. It’s much better to say that what you lack in experience and proficiency, you will make up for in your eagerness to learn and improve yourself – than embarrass yourself when your “skill mastery” is put to the test.
Eating, Drinking, Chewing Gum
You would think that this is already common knowledge as part of basic interview etiquette, but a lot of applicants still make this mistake. If your goal is to keep your breath fresh, go for mints and not gum. For those who still need an explanation as to why eating and drinking during an interview is a huge turn-off for employers, this is simply because it’s informal and inappropriate, and shows your disregard for self-image.
Badmouthing Your Former Boss or Company
In a survey CNN did, this topped the list of mistakes that applicants make during interviews. It’s understandable that you want to get on your future employer’s good side, but bad mouthing your ex-boss or company is NOT the way to do it. The job market doesn’t work like high school – dissing the people you used to work with won’t get you into the new professional circle you’re eyeing. In the real world, this just comes off unprofessional. It also tells them that if they hire you and things don’t work out, nothing is going to stop you from doing the same to their company and tarnishing their reputation once you’re gone.
Not Knowing Anything about the Company/Industry
Always, always do a bit of research before coming in for an interview. It shows your potential employer that you are genuinely interested not just in the job, but with the industry and what the company does. Even though you have sent out applications to 25 other companies, you should never make it seem like the job you’re interviewing for is just one of your options.
Remember, you are interviewing for a job that others are also vying for. Being able to talk a bit about the company’s clients or past achievements and milestones shows interest and effort – two things that may immediately set you apart from the employer’s perspective.
Among the other things that rank high on the list of worst interview mistakes and interviewer turn-offs are arrogance, reeking of cigarette smoke, not being able to answer questions directly or sufficiently, and immediately asking about salary and compensation. Of course, some companies may be more lax than others, depending on the position you’re interviewing for and what the company culture requires. However, these simple and oft-cited mistakes should still be kept in mind if you want to progress to the next round of interviews, and hopefully, land that job.
About the Author: Steven Burrell has been a leading employment coach for nearly a decade. When he is not writing, you can find him working on educational assessment tests or spending time at home with his family.
Read more: 25 worst job interview mistakes
About the Author: This post was written by a guest at Interview Mantra. If you are interested in contributing guest posts, contact us.