This post was originally featured in Monster.ca‘s Career Advice.
You’ve updated your CV, submitted applications and finally you get the call. You’ve been asked to come in for an interview. Congratulations! Now is the time to put your best foot forward. You probably know what you should do in a job interview, but what about the things you should avoid prior to it.
Here are 10 useful suggestions to keep in mind:
- Don’t stay up late the night before your interview. Now is not the time to stay out late partying or marathon watching your favourite television show. Get a good night’s sleep so you show up looking bright eyed and bushy tailed.
- Go easy on the personal fragrances. While it’s important to look clean and presentable at your interview don’t get carried away. Perfumes, colognes, breath mints, scented hand lotions, shampoo and hairspray can overwhelm the space.
- Don’t schedule errands, appointments and reunions prior to your interview. Clear your schedule and take the time to relax. Rushing around from place to place decreases the odds of arriving on time. The last thing you need is to arrive with frayed nerves, hot, sweaty out of breath and flustered.
- Remember first impressions are crucial, don’t show up looking disheveled. Before leaving the house you looked great, but after putting on your coat, boots scarf and hat you might start to look a bit frumpy. Take the time to go to the washroom and freshen up. Make sure don’t have “hat hair”, smudged lipstick or food in your teeth. Cary a lint roller and give your suit the once over. Tuck in your shirt and switch into your dress shoes. Basically make sure that you are picture perfect
- Avoid smelly foods or anything that can end up stuck in your teeth. I love garlic in my food but not in someone’s breath. Same goes for onions, coffee and cigarettes. Drink some water and chew some sugarless gum and your breath will be fresh and clean. Another tip is to keep some floss handy. In an interview you want your accomplishments to stand out, not the fact that you had cilantro in your teeth.
- Don’t arrive to the interview too early. 10-15 minutes is acceptable but anything more than that borders on creepy and annoying. Do yourself a favour, don’t hang around in the lobby next to the receptionist. They don’t want you camping out there while the interviewer has things to do. Go for a walk, listen to some music or sit in your car. Just come back on time.
- Everyone knows that interviews can be nerve racking, and there are lots of things you can do to calm yourself down. Try some meditation, deep breathing or carry a stress ball and give it a good squeeze. Just don’t drink. No matter how high you think your tolerance is, you may end up making a fool of yourself. Also the interviewer will probably smell it on your breath or in your clothes. Don’t let your job prospects go up in smoke, wait until after the interview to have that well-earned drink.
- Don’t check your social media accounts. Use the time before your interview to get into the right frame of mind. Don’t risk getting upset over stupid jokes, gossip and innuendo. Nobody needs to see a selfie of you in your business suit. Just put away your phone and get you head in the game. #SocialMediaBreak
- Do not think you know the way to your interview by heart. Make sure you know where you are going. Plan out your route ahead of time to make sure you can arrive at your destination. Check out if there is any construction work ahead, learn the schedules for buses and trains and update your GPS with the proper coordinates if you are driving. Carry the telephone number of the location, in case you need help finding it or worst case scenario to let them know that you are running late.
- Don’t be rude. You should always be polite but be extra courteous to everyone you meet in and around the interview. Often times you don’t know what the interviewer looks like so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Another thing to keep in mind is to be nice to the receptionist. Often times they report back to the interviewer or the hiring managers. You may have had a great interview, but if the receptionist reports back that you were obnoxious and condescending when addressing them you may not get the job.
Now that you know what NOT to do, go out there and do the right thing! Stay positive and be confident, your next job may definitely be your dream job. Good luck!