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The Big Do Not’s to Interviewing

You’ve heard it a million times. When it comes to interviewing you must be prepared to answer tough questions and give lots of examples relevant to the open position. Check out the company website to learn more about what they do and definitely arrive with a list of questions that require thoughtful answers rather than just facts that could be found online. But aside from what you should do during the interview, steer clear from these’s interview faux pas.

1. Inappropriate Attire. If you do not dress professionally (this usually means suit or conservative business casual, depending on the company) you will not get the job. Women should wear a neutral nail polish color, nothing too bold and it most definitely can not be chipped. An interview is the one time you have to show yourself off and you need to look your best to be taken seriously. So wear a suit. End of story.

2. Leading an interview will not go over well. It’s important to be engaging, but more important to listen. Interviewers generally want to direct the conversation and you should let them. There is always opportunity for Q&A at the end.

3. Do not show up too early or late. Fifteen minutes early is fine, but no more than that! It’s important to remember that the person you are meeting with has a full day of work other than interviewing you, so showing up too early can make him/her feel rushed and then your interview starts off on the wrong foot. Get there too late and you don’t have the job before you’ve even interviewed.

4. No food and/or drink allowed. A bottle of water is the only thing you can bring into an interview. Other than that, it can become a distraction to the person interviewing you or they may be sensitive to smell. It will ruin your chances of getting a second interview.

5. Similar to number 4, I can’t stress enough how important it is to NOT smoke or wear strong perfume. Like I said above, many people have an aversion to strong scents and I don’t know anyone that enjoys the smell of smoke. If you’re clothes are clean and you’ve showered before your interview (which I really hope would be the case) then you probably don’t even need perfume. As for the smokers, try and hold off until afterwards.

6. Don’t forget the important information, such as the address to where you’ll be interviewing, the company phone number (just in case you need something clarified) and the name of the individual who will be interviewing you. Also make sure to look up directions ahead of time to avoid any mishaps that may cause you to arrive late.