Jobs are won and lost based on first impressions. We all know that once you’ve been invited in to interview for a position, it’s important to be confident and remember that you applied because you thought that you could do it.
Showing enthusiasm for the company and the position is also important. But what about some job-interviewing fails? What should you do your best to avoid so that you can leave a positive impression at the interview? Here are our top 5 interview don’ts.
- Leave Your Coffee at Home. Bringing a cup of coffee (or any beverage) is unprofessional, and it can end up being a distraction. If you’re a smoker, refrain from smoking before you go, too. The smell will follow you, and you want to be remembered for other qualities.
- Go Alone. There is no need for anyone to go with you to an interview. You can do it on your own. Another person might be distracting, and your support system may be a window to your lack of confidence.
- Get There on Time. Even candidates with the best of intentions falter on this, whether it’s because of poor directions, difficult parking, traffic, or scheduling. Being late makes it look like you’re not interested in the job, or that you’ll show up late for work. Plan well, take a practice run, and show up 10 minutes early instead.
- Pay Attention to the Dress Code. Look like you’ve been working even if you haven’t been. Extremes in fashion or very casual clothes should generally be avoided. Look neat and clean. Today’s conventions call for business casual when the job is labor-related, and professional attire when it’s a professional or office position. Casual daytime attire is almost never an option. Show your interviewer you’re making your best effort by looking professional and polished no matter what the job description.
- Keep Your Cellphone Hidden. A candidate who doesn’t turn off their phone during a job interview won’t make it past Round One. If you’re answering your phone, texting, or getting phone calls or alerts, you’ll send a clear message to your potential employer that it will happen on the job, too.
Also read: Tips on How to Write a Powerful Resume