So, you’ve landed an interview for a position and you want to be prepared. Make sure, then, to avoid things that may jeopardize your chances.
1. Showing up late. If being late is unavoidable, make sure you call and explain the reason. Do not, though, run behind due to your lack of planning–it implies you will not be able to make deadlines and is unacceptable to employers. Plan ahead, figure out where the interview is located and get an early start.
2. Lack of preparation. This is the single biggest complaint of interviewers and indicates to them that you may not be ready for the responsibillities of the position. Make sure you have copies of your resume, have researched the position and the firm, and are dressed appropriately.
3. Dressing inappropriately or wearing too much perfume/cologne. Please consult the Career Services Handbook for tips.
4. The inability to answer multiple questions or failing to answer the question asked. This is where preparation comes into play–if you have researched and prepared some answers in advance to possible questions, you will not be caught off guard. If you don’t know the answer, say so, and let them know that you will find out the answer. With regard to failing to answer the question asked–practice your listening skills and during an interview directly answer the question asked, do not go off on tangents.
5. Talking too much. While you are probably nervous, answer the question at hand and then stop unless encouraged by the interviewer to go on.
6. Lack of eye contact. Again, everyone understands you are nervous, by you must greet the interviewer with a handshake, a smile, and eye contact. This eye contact should continue for the duration of the interview. Practice if you have to.
7. Not having questions ready to ask the interviewer. Nothing says lack of interest more than you not having a few well thought out questions ready to ask your interviewer.