1. Don’t be late to the interview.
It’s pretty simple – make sure you’ve confirmed the day and time of the interview; make sure you have accurate directions; and make sure you know the name of the person you are meeting with the day of the interview.
2. Don’t get too personal.
Considering today’s economy, you are not the only one who may have just lost his/her job or who is struggling to pay the bills. Even if the interviewer makes you feel at ease, remember that this is a professional meeting and not a time to express your dissatisfaction with the job market.
3. Don’t bash your last employer.
Keep in mind that when you are being interviewed, you are also being assessed on your personality, attitude, and your ability to get along with others in a work environment.
4. When answering questions, don’t be impersonal.
Make eye contact, be direct, and show no fear.
5. Don’t ask about vacation time or PTO in the first interview.
This just sends the wrong signal about what you are most interested in…are you more interested in getting a job or in how many days off you’ll get? If you are asked back for a 2nd interview or are offered the position, then it’s time to gather all of your facts before accepting the offer, but not beforehand.
6. Don’t expect your resume to speak for you.
So your resume writing skills are envied by others – in fact, they may have helped get you the interview, but that’s where the importance of your resume ends. Now it’s time for you talk about yourself.
7. Don’t let the interviewer ask all the questions.
It only makes sense that if you’ve applied for the position, then you have an interest in the company and you likely have a few questions of your own. Just remember to ask them.
8. Don’t give ultimatums.
Maybe you have an independent streak or maybe you have other job offers you’re considering, but try to remember that your timeline may not fit the employer’s timeline for hiring. Hiring a new employee requires time, budget approval, and potentially multiple interviews with different people.
9. Don’t lie about your past employment history or certifications.
Believe it or not, employers do check references and your professional background, including employment dates, college degrees, and other certifications. In a data accessible world, it’s much more easier for companies to research you.
10. Don’t leave without asking about the next step!
Again, it’s o.k. to ask a few questions of your own, especially to find out about the employer’s hiring process. Find out when you can expect to hear back from them and how they would prefer for you to follow-up with them.