10 Things You Don’t Want to Do in a Job Interview | Career Training | The Salter School
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10 Things You Don’t Want to Do in a Job Interview

Category(ies): Job Search Tips


Big Mistake 1: Arriving late
There is almost no reason good enough to arrive at a job interview late. Arriving late sends a signal to the employer that you are not reliable. Instead, arrive about 10 minutes early. This may require mapping out the location in advance, and leaving extra early to make it with time to spare.

Mistake 2: Dressing too casually
Wearing yoga pants for a job interview? That’s a big mistake. Knowing what to wear to an interview is tricky if the business has a casual dress code or if it’s a healthcare facility where most employees wear scrubs to work. But the standard for job interviews is still to dress professionally. Try to dress one level up from the job position, if you know the dress code. If you aren’t sure, it’s safest to wear a business suit. See Tips for What to Wear for Women and Tips for What to Wear for Men.

Mistake 3: Creating a poor first impression
Believe it or not, the first minute of your interview can really count. You want to make a positive impression, or at the very least, avoid making a negative impression. People may react negatively if you have insecure body language, fail to make eye contact, exhibit poor posture, have bad breath, or smell strongly of cigarette smoke.  Instead, make sure you smile, look the interviewer in the eyes, stand up straight, and use a firm handshake. Use this approach for everyone you meet during the interview, and keep up your confident body language throughout the interview.

Mistake 4: Getting distracted by your cell phone
Many of us are so accustomed to our cell phones that we respond as soon as we hear a notification. Staring at your phone before, during, or after the interview just looks bad. It is safest to turn it off for the entire time that you are in the employer’s facility. You don’t want the interviewer to think that your phone is more important than your job!

Mistake 5: Complaining about your old job
Some employers may ask why you are leaving your current job. Even if your current job is making your blood boil, keep quiet about it. Employers want employees who will be team players and keep a positive attitude about their jobs.

Mistake 6: Not preparing for the interview
Employers will want to know that you have researched the organization, and will expect you to come with intelligent questions to ask. Take some time to read about the employer and print out a list of questions to ask about the organization and the job position. For sample questions, read these questions to ask at a job interview.

Mistake 7: Talking too much…or not talking enough
Most people are nervous about job interviews, and sometimes this causes them to clam up and feel shy about saying much of anything. Or some people may do the opposite and start chatting too much. To avoid nerves, make sure you do some mock interviews. Prepare some talking points that are descriptive enough to set you apart from the competition, but not so long that the listener gets bored.

Mistake 8: Exaggerating or lying about your skills
While you want to put yourself in the most positive light, you should never lie at a job interview. If the employer asks about a skill that you do not have, just be honest and tell them that you do not have experience in that area, but would be happy to learn the skill.

Mistake 9: Asking about the pay
It is considered taboo to ask about pay or benefits during a job interview, so do not bring up this question. The interview is meant for you to tell the employer how you can help them—not how they can help you. If the employer asks you about the pay, try not to commit to anything. Simply say what you are expecting the salary range might be, and that you would prefer to wait until a job offer is made before finalizing the pay.

Mistake 10: Forgetting to send a thank you note
It’s always important to send a thank you note after an interview. It not only communicates that you are a professional, but it also clarifies to the employer that you are interested in the job. The employer may be interviewing dozens of other people for the job, so try to include something personalized in the thank you note so that they remember your interview.

With these pointers in mind, we hope you are able to avoid these pitfalls and enjoy a successful job interview. Good luck!


This article was provided by the Salter School. The Salter School offers four campuses, located in Tewksbury, Fall River, Malden, and New Bedford, Massachusetts.  We are proud to provide these career training programs: Professional Medical Assistant, Health Claims Specialist, Massage Therapy, and Pharmacy Technician. Contact us today to learn more

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