In today’s tremendous, competitive job environment; what you must not do is nearly as important as what you must do right.Â With hundreds of qualified applicants for every good job; a recruiter or human resources professional spends as much time shifting through and disqualifying people as they do looking for people to hire.Â The following 8 tips are geared to keep you off the disqualified list.
- Not Dressing in a conservative business suit – The only appropriate dress is a conservative, 2-piece suit for a man or pantsuit for a woman.Â For men, you should wear a simple, white shirt with a basic, solid color tie.Â This is not the time to be creative, flashy, or to make a fashion statement.
- Not presenting a well-groomed appearance – In concert with the above point, you must be well-groomed.Â This has nothing to do with hair length or body composition or any of that.Â It is about being showered, clean, trimmed fingernails, and no noticeable perfumes or colognes.
- Not having a resume tailored to the job and company involved – At a minimum, you should edit your resume to reflect the language and wants of the job description at issue.Â A generic resume will not necessarily hurt you, but speaking in their language will always help.
- Not being on time – This can be a complete deal breaker.Â By not being on time, you demonstrate poor planning, lack of respect, irresponsibility and so much more.Â A former colleague survived being late by presenting tremendous credentials and establishing great chemistry with the divisional manager.Â But that is not a hill you want to have to climb.
- Not having a list of questions to ask – A job interview is a 2 way street.Â Not being able to engage in a meaningful discussion with the interviewer is, in most cases, a deal breaker; unless you are interviewing for a minimum wage job with no opportunity for advancement.
- Not knowing when to stop speaking – Gluttony is a terrible sin.Â Not knowing when to stop speaking is like not knowing when to stop eating at your first dinner with your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s family.Â It is terrible.Â Your answers must be brief and to the point.Â If the interviewer asks for more clarification, then certainly, you should answer more in depth.Â But you should speak for no more than half a minute to a minute.Â Time yourself; 30 seconds is a long time.Â I have read that you should keep your answers under 2 minutes.Â 2 minutes is a very, very long time.
- Not asking for the next interview – This is the whole point of the interview.Â You want to move forward to the next interview.Â Unless you are applying for the minimum wage position, you will interview several times before getting a job offer.Â Do not end a great interview with a handshake and a goodbye.Â You should ask what the next steps are and who you would expect to be meeting with.Â No need to be presumptuous or arrogant here, but do ask firmly.
- Not sending a follow-up letter or thank you letter – Do the things that will set you apart.Â A very, very brief letter contains 3 sentences.Â It should include thank you for meeting with me; hereâ€™s the most important thing that came out of the meeting that should make you hire me; and looking forward to the next contact.
The dynamics of a job interview is fluid.Â It would foolish to try and define a list of actions that would guarantee success in a given job interview.Â While trying to pinpoint what to do is very important; it is also vital not to sabotage yourself.Â
In some ways, getting a job is like a video game.Â You must get avoid all the traps, obstacles, and bad guys to get to the next level.Â And being mindful of these 8 negatives, you increase your odds of getting to the next level.