No matter how prepared you feel for an interview, your chance of getting the job all comes down to how you communicate with the hiring team. Here are a few missteps to avoid: “I’m sorry I’m late.” This is a no brainer; never be late. In fact be early, so you never find yourself beginning an interview by apologizing. “Would you be able to print a copy of my resume?” Never assume the interviewer will take the time to print your resume and have it on hand. Bring extra copies with you. This shows that you are well prepared. “As you can see on my resume…” When the interview process begins, don’t refer to your resume for answers. The hiring team brought you in because they want to speak with you one-on-one and hear more than what they already know from your resume. “My boss was the worst.” Never badmouth a former employer when asked the reason for seeking a new position. A better response is to reiterate why you feel you’d be a great fit for the position you are for which you are interviewing. Touch on the skills you developed in your last position and how you will be able to use them in the new one. “I don’t know.” Anticipate questions you may be asked. Saying “I don’t know” will not leave a great impression with the interviewer. If a question stumps you, be calm and repeat the question. This gives you a few extra seconds to break down the question and analyze it. Often enough, when you repeat a question to the interviewer, he or she will elaborate on the question to help you out. “Umm…Like...” The majority of hiring managers are looking for passionate, confident applicants; using filler words such as “umm” and “like” can show a lack of poise and communication skills. If these words (and non-words) are in your everyday vocabulary, speak slowly and as clearly as possible when interviewing and try to avoid using them. “What the #*$!” NEVER swear during an interview, no matter how relaxed and comfortable you feel. You are meeting with a potential employer, not your friend at a bar, so be professional no matter what happens during the interview. “Nope, I don’t have any questions right now.” Stay engaged in the conversation and ask questions. This shows your interest in the position and company, as well as your eagerness to learn. “How many vacation/sick days do I get?” Having a stockpile of questions ready is great, but leave ones like this off of the list. When you focus on what you will get out of the company, you’ll look smug and unattractive as a candidate. Hiring managers want to see what you can bring to the company, not vice versa. “How much longer will this take?” Don’t give the impression you have somewhere more important to be. A 30-minute interview could turn into an hour, so make sure you have ample time to commit to the process. You’ll know when the interview is over.
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