A job interview is your opportunity to impress your prospective employer. And often, this is your first interaction with your potential manager. Thus, you must bring your A-game! However, once the nerves kick in, sometimes mistakes are made, and the meeting doesn’t go according to plan. Here are three job interview fails you can’t recover from and how to avoid them altogether.
Canceling or rescheduling with a lame excuse
At Johnson Search Group, we have facilitated millions of interviews with our candidates. And like most companies in this candidate-driven market, we have heard some pretty lame excuses for canceling an interview, most of which being “medical emergencies.” We get it, life happens, and sometimes you have to cancel or reschedule plans.
However, just be honest with the interviewers. If you have to cancel or are no longer interested, tell them. No company will be mad if you are honest with them. You will be saving them the headache of shifting their plans around at the last minute. And if you cancel your interview and an employer thinks you’re lying, you probably will never get a second chance with that company.
You can’t explain why you’re on the job market
If you can’t explain why you’re on the hunt for a new job, you won’t make a good impression on the hiring manager. This question will likely surface in every interview, and it says a lot about you as a candidate. So, whether you’re unemployed, recently fired, or just looking for another job, you need to be able to explain why you’re looking for new opportunities (and why you’re a great fit!). And whatever you do, never badmouth a current or previous employer. It will leave a bad taste in the employer’s mouth.
Create distractions during your interview
A big-time job interview fail is creating distractions during your interview. Eliminate them at all costs by thinking about anything that could distract the interviewers. Turn your phone off to ensure a text message doesn’t interrupt your conversation. Have good posture, make direct eye contact, and try not to fidget in your chair or nervously tap your feet. Failing to sit still is distracting to everyone in the room, so even if you do so subconsciously, try to sit calmly.
Most importantly, dress appropriately for your interview. If you are in a professional setting, wear a suit and tie or a skirt. If you at an on-onsite walkthrough of a manufacturing floor or industrial environment, wear proper shoes and protective gear as necessary. Essentially, wear the proper outfit for the environment you are interviewing in to ensure your dress code doesn’t create any hiccups.
JSG has tons of job interview advice
Most job seekers have mucked up an interview at one point or another. After all, we are all human. But if you can avoid these three job interview fails, you will make a great first impression and set yourself up for a successful meeting. Good luck, and if you need more interview advice, check out our blog section discussing the best interview tips and tricks.