Job interviews are stressful… no matter how much we prepare. You can read 40 blog posts, talk to every career coach and watch dozens of instructional videos, but you can still be totally caught off guard.
There may be curveballs thrown at you or things you can’t control, but there’s a way to take charge and be aware of anything that might sabotage your chances.
Here are eight things you need to be on the lookout for:
1. Having a Bad HandshakeWe’ve talked about the power of body language, and a handshake is one of the big indicators. It’s been said that employers can tell if a candidate is right for a job within 30 seconds of meeting the person. Because you typically shake hands within those first 30 seconds, there’s a lot of pressure. You don’t want to be a dead fish, but you also don’t want to grip so hard that your interviewer can’t hold her coffee later that day.
Careful of sweaty palms! You want to go for a firm, confident handshake that shows you mean business. Watch Jerry Seinfeld’s great monologue on handshakes below:
2. Dressing Too WellI know what you’re thinking: Don’t you want to dress really well for an interview? Isn’t that where the saying “dress for success” comes from? Dressing too well for an interview, meaning statement pieces and a really opulent bag and shoes, could actually convey that you’re dressing to overcompensate. You may not have the skills or savvy for the job, so you’re trying to dress to make up for it.
3. Talking Too Little or Too MuchIf you’re anything like me, you tend to get nervous during pauses in conversation and start talking to fill the void. Sometimes I will just start singing if there is too long a lull (but not in a job interview, of course). What’s important to remember is this: You don’t want to fill the pauses in conversation with rambling, but you also don’t want the pause to go on for eternity. Try to strike a good balance.
4. Treating Your Job Interview as One of Your Errands
Never show up at a job interview with a bunch of shopping bags and your dry cleaning. It makes it look like you aren’t prioritizing the opportunity or the company, which speaks volumes about how you might perform if hired. Also, don’t bring your Starbucks cup to the interview. Just don’t.
Ways 5-8 and the complete article