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Most Common Interview Mistakes Job Applicants Make

So you’ve landed a job interview. Good for you! You’re one step closer to employment and all the benefits and fulfilling hard work that come with it. But this next step is the most important one yet. If you can’t impress the boss, then you’ll fall short of reaching your goal. Keep reading to see what a lot of people have learned the hard way about what not to do for an interview. Avoiding these mistakes can help you land your dream job.

Wearing the wrong clothes

First impressions can be a dozy, and in an interview, you only get that first chance to prove yourself. No matter how fantastic your résumé may be, you won’t get the job if you show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Each business will dress differently, but it always pays to look sharp. Keep a suit and tie (or a professional blouse and skirt for ladies) handy if you’re planning on entering big business. For a non-professional type job, show up in business causal dress (slacks and a button-up, or a nice skirt). Dressing the part will ensure that your first impression is a good one and that you’re ready to begin working with the company.

Showing up late

Another mistake that will destroy your chances of getting hired is tardiness. Always give yourself loads of time to get to the interview. As old Murphy’s law will tell you, stuff happens, so you need to be prepared. Being early or at least on-time will show your potential employer that you’re responsible and prepared.

Bringing potential disasters

Do not, under any circumstances, bring coffee or any drink but water to the interview. Chances are, you will spill it, and will be left with a stain on your interview-appropriate clothing, which defeats the purpose. Also, if you absolutely insist on bringing a mobile phone, then make sure that it’s completely powered down before entering the building. Using your mobile phone—or even hearing it go off in your pocket or purse—during the interview can severely detract from your professional image.

Not coming prepared

Another huge pitfall that can blast your chances of landing a job is not preparing for the interview ahead of time. Always do some research on your possible employer beforehand. This will let you answer questions with more surety, and let you keep the company’s goals in mind while responding. Also, plenty of websites have lists of the most commonly asked questions in interviews. Prepare yourself ahead of time by coming up with some thoughtful and appropriate answers that you can give. With preparation comes confidence, which is essential. And always have a résumé on hand—even if you’d submitted one during the application. The more prepared you are going in, the better your odds.

Whatever you plan on doing, don’t just rush in blindly. Remember that you’re not the only one applying for the position, and so anything you can do to appear more confident and prepared will only help you out. Good luck!