By: Katie Artis Wise
We’ve all been there- a new job opportunity that you’d be an ideal fit for presents itself. You get the chance to interview, and in your opinion, it couldn’t have gone any better! The pay is great, the commute is short, and all of your other job ideals are part of the package… yet weeks go by, and dead silence ensues, leaving you to wonder what could’ve happened? While anything is possible (the company decided not to move forward in the hiring process, they found someone who was a better fit, etc), there’s still a possibility that somehow you shot yourself in the foot and prevented yourself from landing the job.
Check out these tips below to make sure you aren’t guilty of these behaviors… and if you are, now is the time to nip it in the bud so you won’t be passed over for seemingly ideal opportunities in the future!
1) CASUALLY DRESSED
Interviewing 101- Even if you can’t afford to get a brand-new interview outfit, you should still make every possible effort to look as polished and professional as possible. Button down shirts with freshly ironed slacks and nice, simple shoes are always acceptable. Ladies- be careful when choosing to wear skirts or dresses. Make sure they’re an appropriate length! If you choose to wear high heels, make sure they are a pair that you can walk in comfortably!
2) BODY LANGUAGE
This is probably one of the most important tips on this list. People tend to underestimate just how important body language is when interviewing. Crossed arms, avoiding eye contact, all of these things tend to convey the message to your interviewer that you’re just not interested in the opportunity and don’t want to be there. Even if you tend to just cross your arms in front of you regularly, regardless of whether or not it’s just a habit you’ve had for years- the person you’re interviewing with doesn’t know you and has no idea that that’s just the way you carry yourself. It sends the wrong message.
3) EYE CONTACT
Furthermore, maintaining appropriate eye contact is a crucial part of the interview process. Think about it- when you’re talking to someone and they fail to make eye contact with you, it gives a negative impression- for example, lack of confidence, something to hide, don’t really want to be there, etc. Don’t let this be you! Even if you’re nervous, it’s important to meet your interviewer’s gaze to convey that you’re interested in the opportunity, engaged in the conversation and demonstrates that you WANT to be there.
Your interview is the first thing in the morning and as most people would, stopping for breakfast beforehand sounds like a great idea… unfortunately, it’s also one that can cost you the job before you’ve even started. DO NOT bring food or drink to an interview. If your interview is first thing in the morning, be prepared to get up extra early and give yourself time to eat, or simply wait until after the interview is over. Nothing is more distracting to a hiring manager than listening to you slurp that morning Starbucks run.
This might actually be the most important one. Wanting to make a good impression, of course you want to smell good…. But what you might not know is that the person interviewing you could potentially be allergic or over sensitive to what you’ve doused all over your body post morning shower! Maybe a little dab on the wrists or behind the ear is okay, however, bathing in perfume is definitely NOT recommended! You don’t want to be known as the candidate who gave the interviewer a perfume headache- you’ll definitely be memorable, but it won’t be in the way that you had hoped for!