It happens to everyone. When nerves begin to get the best of us, we overcompensate by being extremely conscious of our actions. Sometimes this leads to people to become unaware of presenting normal behavior.
Take for instance someone who wants to sound friendly and casual in an interview. The interviewer might make a light-heart joke that the interviewee laughs hard to, perhaps a little too hard. The interviewer might take this as a forced laugh even when the interviewee means well. It’s understandably hard for people to really be themselves in a situation where they are trying to impress a complete stranger.
Here are some common things that people might not be aware of in an interview that could be costing them the job:
1) Arriving late. This needs no explanation and has no excuse for. If you’re not on time for your interview you can consider yourself disqualified. This is the easiest way to mar your first impression.
2) Forgetting materials. Even if they didn’t ask you to bring copies of your resume or a notepad these are a given.
3) Seeming uninterested. There’s a difference between calm and unenthusiastic. If your attitude doesn’t make a distinction between the two in the interview, the interviewer is going to assume you’d have other things you’d rather be doing. All it takes is simply smiling.
4) Bad attitude. You’re always told to leave your issues at the door and this especially applies in a professional setting because it shows that you can balance different aspects of your life accordingly. If you show up to the interview with even a hint of bitterness, they’ll move on to someone more approachable. Remember that your problems are not theirs.
5) Disrespecting the receptionist. Receptionists are always expected to be friendly and inviting, however, they probably won’t be concerned with impressing you. Employers will usually ask their receptionists what they thought of you so you’ll want to make a good impression on every person you meet in the office whether they gave you a warm welcome or not.
6) Saying that you don’t have weaknesses. This claim is sure to get the interviewer down. Not only is that false, but that kind of response shows that you expect them to believe you. Always give the interviewer a realistic answer to avoid sounding fake. It will be obvious that you either lack insight or are trying too hard.
7) Being unable to provide specifics. Being vague in an interview will cause it to be boring and disappointing. Interviewers want examples of your work performance and to know that you pay attention to details.
8) Answering your cell phone. There is nothing more inappropriate than to not only have your cell phone go of in an interview but to answer it as well. Turn your phone off or keep it on silent and keep it out of sight. You might not think of it as a big deal, but interviewers will take checking your cell phone for being bored and won’t hesitate to the cut the interview short.
9) Making stuff up. Making false statements can get you carried away and caught up. There’s nothing more awkward than to be caught telling a lie during an interview. Think about if you had somehow mentioned working somewhere you hadn’t and it just so happened that the interviewer had. This is a hole you don’t want to dig yourself into.
10) TMI. Sharing too much unrelated work information with the interviewer should always be avoided. Things like gossip, bad-mouthing previous employers, or personal information isn’t professional. You can be casual and keep boundaries at the same time.