How to Blow a Job Interview in Less than 5 Minutes

by Rebekah Cockrell

Interview Mistakes

Your resume was good enough to get the interview. You woke up feeling confident and even showed up fifteen minutes early to your interview. You felt great as you chit chatted about the weekend and then answered all of the questions with ease. You were a shoe in. Then why didn’t you get the job or even a second interview?

Let’s rewind.

You showed up fifteen minutes early. Awesome for you, unfortunately not all employers feel the same way. It can be annoying for an employer to have an interviewee show up while they are still trying to finish up the interview before you. It’s good to be punctual, and even early in most cases. Five minutes early is acceptable. If you show up earlier than that, just sit in your car for a few minutes. Listen to the radio and meditate on why you are the best candidate for the job. Then five minutes before your scheduled interview, head on in.

Next, let’s cover your interview attire.  Your hair is neat and combed; you put on your best shirt and favorite "nice” jeans. O.K….. Let’s talk about the "nice jeans”. I hate to break this to so many of you, but jeans are almost never acceptable for an interview.  It almost rules you out before you even get a chance to say anything. Yes, if you are applying for a job as a cowboy or related field it’s appropriate. For almost every other job on the planet it’s not. At the very least pull out a pair of khaki’s for the interview.  Employers look at your appearance as a reflection of how you might dress on the job or represent the company. You don’t want to come across as too casual or sloppy. Even if you know the office is generally casual and the person interviewing you is wearing jeans, you don’t want to make any assumptions about expectations for the interview process. After you have the job offer, ask what the appropriate dress is for the business. As a tip, it’s good to have a "go to” interview outfit and try to make it something that you feel comfortable in.

Now let’s move on to the interview chit chatting. It is always a good idea to find something to relate to the interviewer about. This shows the interviewer that you would fit in with the office. It’s not a good idea to engage in overly long discussions that are unrelated to the position available. You only have a short time to impress someone enough to be offered the job. Try not to waste too much time discussing items that are not going to get you the job. While they may "like” you, the job will end up going to someone else that is more "qualified”. Let’s discuss the rules of interview chit chat. No politics, religion, or any type of a private story that is best left for happy hour with your friends.

Now that you have these easy to follow rules for your next interview, get working on your resume, pull your interview outfit together and practice for your next interview. Good luck on the job hunt.

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