April Fools! Foolish Mistakes to Avoid in Interviews

It may be April Fool’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you have to play the fool in an interview. Here are some foolish mistakes to avoid the next time you find yourself in the hot seat during an interview!

Don’t be late.

This is presumably an obvious piece of advice, yet despite it being so important, some people still fail to take it seriously. Being on time is critical because it sets the tone for your entire interview.  If you walk in late, your interviewer may have already made assumptions about your professionalism and interest in the position before you have even spoken a word.  Map out your route beforehand, and allot extra time for unforeseen circumstances like traffic, weather or accidents.

Don’t go in unprepared.

Talking about yourself and your experiences is something that many people assume they can do off-the-cuff. However, a certain amount of research and preparation is needed before an interview.  Make sure to research the company and the position beforehand. Practice answering questions about yourself; you don’t want to sound canned, but you want to have a good grasp on the information and have talking points prepared so you do not freeze up if your nerves get the best of you.

Don’t be tricked into being too casual.

A common mistake interviewees make is gaining a false sense of confidence and being too casual in an interview.  Yes, you want to be confident in your answers, and you don’t want to be stiff and rigid.  However, some interviewers will intentionally speak with a casual tone, or even slouch in their seat, to try and see if the interviewee will mimic them or remain professional.  It’s great if you and your interviewer engage in a comfortable conversation, but don’t let your professionalism slip!

Don’t forget to say thanks.

Your job is not done when you exit the interview room! Some people feel an overwhelming sense of relief when an interview is done, and as their nerves are unwinding, they miss the crucial step of following up with a thank you.  Don’t let this be you!  Make sure to send a thank you to your interviewer in a timely fashion, thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the position.

With so many components of an interview, it can be easy to slip up on easily avoidable mistakes.  Make sure you don’t overlook them, and prepare yourself for success in your next interview!

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