Did you know you might be doing things that are preventing you from getting the jobs you apply for? You could be ruining your chances of getting hired during your first interview with a company. You might even be ruining your chances before you speak to anyone who works at the company.
Sometimes it’s the littlest things that could turn a hiring manager’s perception of you into a negative one. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to ensure hiring managers see you as a viable candidate. Making some simple changes to your job application process could mean the difference between hearing nothing and hearing, “You’re hired.”
If you want to land a new job, then make sure you avoid these 10 ways to guarantee you won’t get hired:
1. Your Resume Stinks
If your resume doesn’t present you as the solution to a hiring manager’s needs, you won’t get called for an interview. Before you do anything else in your job search efforts, take the time to craft a compelling resume that motivates hiring managers to call you. Your goal is to make them think they’re missing out on something and someone amazing if they don’t interview you.
2. Your Interview Attire is Inappropriate
Your interview attire should be highly professional. Dress for the job you ultimately want, not the job you’re interviewing for. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Furthermore, cover tattoos and piercings that could be viewed as unprofessional, and always err on the side of conservatism in your clothing and jewelry.
3. You Arrive Late to Interviews
If you can’t make it to an interview on time, how will you make it to work on time? That’s exactly what a hiring manager will think if you get to your scheduled interview late. Plan to arrive at your interview at least 10-15 minutes early. This gives you a cushion if you encounter traffic or get lost. It also gives you time to fill out an official application and any other documentation the company requires prior to the interview.
4. You Leave Your Phone on During Interviews
Never leave your mobile phone turned on during an interview. Make it a habit to turn off your phone before you get out of your car and walk into the building where the interview is being held. It’s crucial that hiring managers feel like the job interview is the most important priority for you. Even if you do forget to turn off your phone, never answer it during an interview. Instead, apologize, quickly turn it off, and continue the interview.
5. You Didn’t Do Your Homework
Before you go on an interview with any company, you should research the company. Understand its products, culture, history, brand, and leadership team. If an interviewer asks you about the company and you don’t know the answer to his question, you can bet that a strike has been marked against you. You need to make the interviewer feel like you want to work for the company, not that you just need a job — any job.
6. You’re Unprepared
Never go to an interview unprepared. When you arrive at an interview, you’ll probably be asked to complete an official application. Have a list of your previous employers with addresses and phone numbers as well as reference contact information, so you can simply copy that information onto the application. Consider the common interview questions that you’re likely to be asked, and prepare answers for each.
7. Your Social Media Profiles Are Inappropriate
What will a hiring manager think of you if he looks at your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and other social media profiles? Make sure the content on your social media profiles doesn’t ruin your chances of getting the job you want by reviewing it before you begin your job search. If you find inappropriate pictures, videos, and other content, delete it.
8. You Lie or Embellish Too Much
You should never lie on your resume or in an interview, because you’re likely to get caught. Even if an interviewer doesn’t come out and say that you’re lying, he’ll think it to himself. This also includes embellishing too much.
9. You Stumble over Your Answers to Interview Questions
There is only one reason why you might stumble over your answers in an interview — you didn’t practice enough. The more you practice your answers to common interview questions, the more succinctly you’ll be able to deliver those answers in a real interview. Practice makes you sound more confident and capable. Stand in front of a mirror, record yourself, and count how many times you stumble and use words like “um” or “like.” Keep practicing until you sound strong and assertive rather than weak and timid.
10. You Say Negative Things about Your Previous Employer
Most interviewers will ask why you left your previous job. This is not the time to sound bitter. Always speak professionally about your previous employers. Sour grapes won’t get you the job you want, but professionalism might. Leave personal attacks and pettiness towards your former boss, coworkers, and company at the door.