You put time and effort into customizing your resume. You gave it a facelift and proofread it many times over. You then took it out and applied for a number of jobs. Now your hard work has paid off and you’ve landed an interview for your dream job.
You’re not in the clear just yet. While you may have avoided some of the most common resume mistakes, job interview mistakes are just as common (if not more so). Use these tips and avoid some of the most frequent job interview sins.
1. Asking about Compensation
It’s natural to want to know what any potential employer wants to pay you. It’s considered a faux pas to actually act on that curiosity and ask about compensation during a job interview. Unless the employer has asked for your salary expectations, don’t expect any discussion of salary or benefits to be on the table during the job interview.
Employers don’t want to discuss this aspect of the job with you until they’re making a job offer. They’re trying to decide if you’re the right person for the job, not if they can pay you less than Candidate Y. Asking makes you seem less motivated about working for the company and more concerned with money alone.
Instead of asking about compensation, ask about the company culture. What’s it like to work for this company? How do they treat their employees?
2. Not Doing Your Research
You’re a busy person. Maybe you’re still working full time. Maybe you have three or four job interviews to prepare for in addition to more applications to send out. It’s no excuse. You still need to do your research before you head into a job interview.
It’s one of the most common job interview mistakes. Hiring managers complain about candidates who show up with no prior knowledge of the company. These candidates ask questions like, “What do you do here?”
If you’ve been this job candidate, you should know it reflects poorly on you. If you don’t even know what this company does, why did you apply to work with them? You should know at least a few facts about your company before you head into the interview.
This is easy to fix. Be sure to take the time to do some research beforehand. Instead of asking what the company does, ask about the hiring manager’s responsibilities or how the role you’re interviewing for contributes to the company’s success.
3. Poor Body Language
You rehearsed your answers to common interview questions. Did you consider your non-verbal communication? What are you saying with your hands, your feet, or even the way you’re sitting?
Different postures communicate different things to the people around you. Crossing your arms, for example, could make you seem bored, judgemental, or even aggressive. Slouching in your seat with your hands in your pockets is a definite “don’t” when it comes to a job interview.
Do some research about appropriate body language for job interviews. Practice some of the positions in your mock-interviews.
4. Not Asking Questions
At some point in the interview, your interviewer will likely turn the floor over to you. This usually happens with a line like, “That’s all the questions we have for you. Do you have any for us?”
Many job candidates say no. They don’t ask any questions of the interviewer. It’s one of the most common job interview mistakes. Make yourself stand out instantly by asking a few smart questions.
Why should you ask questions? Smart questions will convey your ambition and curiosity. You want to know more about the company and the position. It’s also a chance for you to critically evaluate the company.
Remember, a job interview is your chance to interview the company. Ask some questions and avoid these common job interview mistakes.