When going in for an interview, our heads have been filled with plenty of ‘what to do’ tips…but have you ever wondered what you really ought not do? Jessica Leibman (managing editor – Business Insider) has comprised this list of 18 helpful clues on what to avoid doing for your big interview:
1. Don’t come a half an hour early; five minutes early is more than enough.
2. Don’t bring your own cup of Starbucks coffee to the interview. It’s not professional.
3. Don’t touch your face or twirl your hair during the interview. It’s disgusting and distracting.
4. Don’t wait more than 24 hours after the interview to write a thank you note. Be short and sweet, but specific.
5. Skip the “thank you note in the snail mail” thing. It’s 2012.
6. Don’t say you do not have time if asked to take a test/complete a project/etc. No matter what you have going on after, it’s a huge red flag.
7. Don’t talk about how successful your father is. It will make people think he’s responsible for getting you all your past jobs and internships.
8. Don’t arrive with wet hair. Rather you be five minutes late with dry hair.
9. Don’t have bad breath. You are sitting directly with or across from the interviewer.
10. Don’t say “I still haven’t figured out what I want to do yet.” It makes you seem lost. You have figured out what you want to do, and it’s exactly what this job is.
11. Don’t give a generic response (like New York Times) to what publications you read, etc. Come up with unique responses to these types of inquiries…something to set you above the mediocre bar.
12. Don’t ask what the hours are. It makes it sound like you’ll be clocking in and out. There’s a better way of putting that: “What’s a typical day like here?”
13. Don’t send a cover letter email that’s more than one paragraph long. No one wants to read about your childhood. Save the details for the interview.
14. Don’t attach your resume to an email and title it “Magazine Resume” or “Forbes Resume”. Come on.
15. If you’re interviewing for an editorial job (for example), don’t tell the interviewer that your life long goal is to be a designer or a singer. Why would they hire you?
16. Don’t come in without spending at least 20 minutes looking around the company website. This goes for any company you’re interviewing at. A smart interviewer will ask you: “What are your impressions of our website/online presence/etc.?”
17. Don’t say you have no questions at the end of the interview. You have to at least ask ONE question, and it should be more creative than “What’s the culture like?”
18. Don’t ask if moving within the company is easy. That gives the impression you’re trying to get your foot in the door for another job, when the business at hand is filling THIS position.