One of the best ways to land a new job is to be prepared. The way to do that is to plan for the interview. Once you have an interview scheduled most people know you should read up on the company, know the job description and get your resume ready. You can also prepare by learning from the interview mistakes other people have made.
There have been many articles written about interview mistakes. In fact, Med Career News previously wrote an article on The Top Seven Interview Mistakes. Since that article was written, I am sad to say, we have identified more blunders candidates have made that make those previous mistakes seem minor. Here are 3 things you must never do on an interview.
Interview Mistake #1: Chewing Gum
In our jobs as recruiters, we just had a candidate fly to corporate for her final interview with two director level employees. She was the only candidate they were moving forward and the job was basically hers. On her way back to the airport she called us to say how great the interview went and ask when could she expect an offer.
The hiring directors had another story for us. They were disgusted. The feedback was she chewed gum the entire day. From start to finish she chomped away during the entire interview. We had to give this feedback to the candidate who had no idea why chewing gum was a problem and we were back to square one with finding the company a new candidate. Learn from her mistake, do not ever chew gum on an interview! Chewing gum distracts the hiring manager from asking you questions and listening to your answers. Major interview mistake and it is just bad manners.
Interview Mistake #2: Texting/Picking up Phone
Just like going into a theatre your phone should be turned off during any interview. Once you walk into the lobby of the interview location your phone should be put away. We have seen many candidates get knocked out of the interview process for picking up their phone and texting during the interview. Although we have more commonly seen it happen on a sales interview ride-along, we have also been told by hiring managers candidates have texted during a face to face interview.
Picking up your phone and texting shows lack of judgment. Your attention should be 100% focused on the interviewer, the questions they ask you and the information they are giving you. Picking up your phone for any reason shows you are not paying attention or taking the interview seriously. Texting also shows you are not a focused person. It gives the hiring manager the impression you will not do well at the job for which you are interviewing.
Interview Mistake #3: Burning Bridges
This is a tough one because candidates have no idea they are doing it. We recently had a candidate interview for a sales position in a territory that was not producing. The hiring manager loved the candidate and made him an offer. As is typical, the candidate began to negotiate the package. They asked for a change in the commission plan, increased salary and a 6 month commission guarantee. The hiring manager was so convinced this candidate could turn the territory around and went to bat for the candidate to get him what he wanted. This meant the hiring manager had to convince his bosses why he thought this candidate was worth all the increases to the hiring package.
Then the mistake happened. The candidate turned the job down even after the hiring manager got him everything he wanted. As you can understand the hiring manager and the recruiter were both angry with the candidate. Interviewing is time for both the candidate and hiring manager to see if the job is a fit, so it is not unusual for people to walk away from a company that is not for them even after a good interview. It is even common to turn a job offer down if they cannot give you what you want. What is not ok is to negotiate, put a manager on the spot, and then walk away. Make sure you plan on taking the job before you get hiring managers to jump through hoops.
Another way to burn bridges is talk ill of your current boss or any other person you worked with. Hiring managers will get the feeling you may not have a strong character and will not be a team player.
Landing your dream job is a process of preparing, interviewing and following up. There are a few ways to prepare including learning from other people’s interview mistakes.
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