The number of articles and blogs online about the mistakes people make during an interview would lead you to believe that interviewees would have learned from other’s hard lessons. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always seem to be the case. A recent survey of 115 hiring experts about the worst interview mistakes people make reveals that interviewees are guilty of committing some very avoidable errors during their time in front of a potential employer.
Here are the three worst mistakes respondents said they saw job seekers make during their interview and how you can avoid making them.
1. Lie About Your Experience
Want to start your relationship off terribly with someone who could determine if you get hired or not? Lie about your work experience or education.
Even the slightest fib or stretching of the truth could do irrevocable harm to your potential to get hired. If an employer finds out after you’ve been hired that you lied about your abilities or knowledge of a key part of your new job, you can expect that you won’t be there long. And if they do research about you before you’re hired and find out you’ve been dishonest, don’t expect to get a call back anytime soon.
“In this era of massive information availability, anything you say about your experience, your past performance, or your education that isn’t accurate can most likely be checked,” said Erika Anderson, a contributor for Forbes Magazine. “It’s much better to be upfront about anything that’s less than stellar, and offer a simple (non-defensive) explanation.”
2. Show Up Late
Things happen. Tires go flat, kids get sick, and bad weather can set anyone back. But when you know you have a job interview coming up, preparing for any situation is the key to showing up on time.
Take the appropriate steps to make sure that on the day of your job interview, nothing but a serious emergency could cause you to show up late or miss the chance to show an employer why you’re the best person for the job. Put gas in your car and check your tires the day before, set your alarm to give yourself plenty of time to get ready, and do a final review of any research you’ve done. And if you’re unfamiliar with the location of the interview, drive there from your home in the days before so you know how to get there, preferably around the time of your interview so you can account for traffic.
If something completely unforeseen does come up and you know you’ll be late, call ahead to the employer and let them know about the situation. Be prepared with another time when you call so that if they ask to re-schedule, you know of a few times you’re available.
3. Answer Your Phone (Call or Text)
This is pretty simple. Unless there is an emergency situation in which you are waiting on a phone call (in which case you should probably ask to re-schedule the interview), you shouldn’t even have your cell phone turned on when you walk in the building.
We know how tempting it is to check your phone while you wait to meet your interviewer, but it’s not worth it. Employers want to know you’re focused on the task at hand and will be if they decide to hire you. Don’t give them any reason to think you’re anything other than excited, determined, and completely focused on what you can bring to their team.
Everyone understands that mistakes can happen during an interview, but there are some that are worse than others, and several that are avoidable. What have you done to avoid these interview mistakes? Let us know in the comments section below.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.