Want to Nail an Interview? Here's Four Things to Avoid!

Interviews. It’s like a first date. You’re not really sending yourself, you’re sending your representative. Everyone is always on their best behavior for job interviews (or at least they should be), which is why I encourage employers to do more than one interview and for employees to make sure they are actually themselves when they interview.

Setting that aside for today, I want to look at 4 things that interviewees ought not to do surrounding the events of a interview. Some of these may seem common, unfortunately, they still happen daily. Let’s jump in, shall we?

(1) Dressing too high or too low.

Generally speaking, when you go for an interview it is always best to dress one step above what the company policy is. Not sure what that is? Go check out the organization or even make a phone call. I call ahead and asked the last time I interviewed and it was welcomed.

I would say dressing low (being under-dressed) is worse than overdressing. I’d forgive a full suit, not sure if I could forgive cargo pants and a polo.

(2) Talking negativity, about anything.

Look, everyone has had a job that didn’t go well. No doubt about that. However, employers don’t want to hear you bad mouth your former boss, company, or employees. Reason being is that if you talk that poorly about another employer, what are you going to say about them?

A good tip here is to turn everything into a positive. Even bad situations help us learn, and it’s good to pass that along.

(3) Failure to do your research.

When you get into the adult marketplace, everything is on the table. You can negotiate your salary, benefits, and sometimes even schedule. The other side of that, however, is that those types of jobs have strict interview processes. You will get put through the ringer and if you don’t know your stuff, you’re going to fail.

Apart from the interviewer side, you need to study up on the company so you can ask good follow up questions about their community service, growth potential, and really anything relevant in the news that shows you care and that you’ve been paying attention.

(4) Time matters, in all circumstances.

What time you show up really matters. If an interview starts at 11:00, generally the employer wants you in the chair and the conversation starting at 11:00. 10 minutes is the earliest you need to show up. Don’t pester them by showing up 30 minutes early and having to put you somewhere until the interview starts.

Lastly, if you want to ensure you don’t get the job, show up late. If you know you are going to be late and it is for a good reason, call them and pass along the information. Things happen, people understand. That happened to me once, terrible traffic, I called and I ended up getting the job.

What bad habits do you recommend avoiding for an interview? Any good stories to share? Sound off in the comments and thanks for following along!