Interviewing for a new job or your first job can be arduous. It’s nerve-wracking, and you might not always know what to do or say. There isn’t a step by step guide you can buy that will help you succeed at an interview. Employers aren’t always looking for the same thing, and there aren’t really cookie cutter answers to interview questions.

However, there are certain things you can avoid doing almost universally. Knowing what to avoid doing is a great first step. This will help you make sure that you do not do something too bad. You want to make sure that you act appropriately, look the part and give good answers. There are some common mistakes you want to avoid at all costs.

Common Mistakes

You may know the old adage that says knowing is half of the battle. For an interviewee, that means that knowing what to avoid gets you one step closer to getting hired. Try staying away from these common interview traps:

  • Dressing Inappropriately

When you go to an interview, you have to look professional. You don’t want to wear a skimpy dress or a t-shirt with its sleeves cut off to an interview. You want to wear something that says you want to be there, and you are capable of doing the job. You also want to make sure that you do not wear too much jewelry, makeup, perfume or cologne.

  • Arriving Late

Avoid arriving late to an interview. Be punctual. This is the first time you are meeting with someone from this company. You do not want that first impression to include you being late.

  • Bringing Drink or Food

Do not bring food or drink with you to the interview. You need to be focused on making a good impression, and that beverage or light snack could get in the way. You might fiddle with the package or spill the drink.

  • Using Your Phone

It sounds like common sense to say, don’t use your phone during an interview. However, don’t use your phone during an interview. You want to come off as professional, and responding to that Tweet probably isn’t as important as getting the job.

  • Being Unprepared

If you go into an interview without having practiced answering common questions, you are unprepared. If you do not do any research about the company, you are unprepared. If you go into an interview without preparing, you will come across as not genuinely wanting the job.

  • Lying

It might be hard to remember everything on your resume. Sometimes you might accidently get some information mixed up. Avoid doing this at all times. One way to help this not happen is to make sure that you tell the truth on every aspect of your resume.

  • Not Paying Attention

You need to pay attention during the interview so your body language will match up with what the interviewer is talking about. If you do not pay attention, you will not know when to give an answer or what you are answering.

  • Talking Too Much or Not Enough

Avoid giving answers that are too short or too long. You need to be informative, yet concise. You also do not want to talk about yourself too much. Remember to practice talking about your traits that are most appealing which would include how you work with a team.

  • Being Disrespectful

Do not badmouth previous employers. Do not talk about how you didn’t get along with your coworkers. Avoiding all of the previously mentioned bad behaviors will help you respect the interviewer. That’s a good thing because you do not want to be disrespectful to the person standing between you and a job.

Knowing what to stay away from is important. Now all you have to do is put these tips into practice.

Avoiding Common Mistakes Gets You One Step Closer to Success

Now that you know what you should avoid doing, you are closer to having a truly successful interview. You may not be able to get a step by step guide to acing your interview, but you can practice circumventing bad behaviors. Have a friend give you a mock interview. Make sure they know what bad behaviors you are trying not to do. They can give you pointers about what you did well, and what you need to work on before the actual interview. Don’t let yourself get too nervous. This is a big deal, but if you practice and prepare you can be successful.

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