In the past, most of my pieces have focused on how the recruiter or hiring manager can work to make the candidates hiring experience one to remember. In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would switch things up and focus on what the candidate can do. The hiring process can be FRIGHTENING for candidates. The interview phase is typically the final stage in the process, so it’s important not to SPOOK your potential employer. Avoid these SCARY interview mishaps to ensure your interview is one to remember.
MISTAKE #1: Cloaking your preparedness
According to LinkedIn, not knowing enough about the employer is the #1 mistake made during most interviews. Lack of preparation becomes obvious quickly.
Instead: Be prepared! Research not only the company but the interviewees as well. What type of culture does the company have? What is the company’s mission and service offering? What are the interviewers’ names and their hobbies? Leveraging the answers to these simple questions can give you a one-up on the competition.
MISTAKE #2: Revealing your fangs when it comes to your previous employer
While there are nightmare employers out there, badmouthing your current or past employer is always a frightful mistake. If you are badmouthing one job, what leaves them with the impression that you won’t badmouth their job?
Instead: Keep your vampire fangs and claws away! Spin any conversation about your employer in a positive way without lying. You are better off focusing on the fact that you are looking for new challenges and opportunities.
MISTAKE #3: Acting as stiff as a mummy
The hiring process is a two-way street. However, I sometimes get candidates that freeze when asked questions or do not know how to respond.
Instead: Loosen up! Your body language is just as important as what you say. Try not to twitch, remember to smile and relax. If it helps, take a few deep breaths before responding to a question so you have time to quickly process your thoughts before answering.
MISTAKE #4: Showing up dressed like a zombie
First impressions are everything. Showing up in the wrong outfit and accessories can send the wrong message.
Instead: Do your research! Look up the company’s website ahead of time to see how people dress. When in doubt, wear a suit or ask the hiring manager what the attire is.
MISTAKE #5: Arriving spin-chillingly late
Want to send your potential employer to their grave? Arrive late. It is more common than one thinks. Being late right off the bat makes the employer question your punctuality if hired.
Instead: Be on time! In fact, arrive at least 30 minutes earlier than your scheduled interview. This allows you to scope the surroundings and calm your nerves.
MISTAKE #6: Asking corpse-like questions
Every interview has a part that asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” This is the time for the candidate to shine and really express interest in the position. But, I cannot tell you how many times I get questions that are stale and still, leaving me pale like a corpse.
Instead: Show up with meaningful questions that truly give sight to what the position entails and to the culture of the company. Not sure what that looks like? Consider asking the following:
This is just my top list. What other common SCARY mistakes rattle your bones? Not providing solid references? Rambling on? Comment below.