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There’s no time to be anything but professional at your interview. You’ve spent countless hours networking, job searching and preparing—so you owe it to yourself to be on your toes and ready to roll come interview time. Still, some may unconsciously make mistakes that will kill their best intentions when meeting with a hiring manager. But you’re smart—you’ll avoid these four common interview errors. Here’s what you need to know.

Four ways to sink your interview—fast

Your shoes are polished, your suit is pressed, you’re well rested, rehearsed and caffeinated. The next step is to steer clear of the following:

  • Too much confidence. We all know that you shouldn’t slink into the interview, slump into your chair and deliver one-word answers. However, the opposite can work to your disadvantage. Coming across as too confident and even boastful will make you appear fake and that you have something to hide. So the best rule is to be genuine. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous, but just breathe and shake it off. It can also help to bring a bottle of water with you and take small sips if you need help calming down, or if you get dry mouth.
  • Making the interview all about you. To be fair, it is a little about you. The hiring manager wants to meet you and learn what you’re all about. But with a slight twist: He especially wants to know how you can help the company. So your goal is to explain why you’re a good fit and how you’ll add value to the workforce. It’s a subtle shift in focus that will make all the difference in your interview.
  • Not doing your homework. Read the posted job description thoroughly and think about how your unique skills apply. Visit the company website and learn more—what is their corporate culture like, what is their mission and vision, what are their possible pain points and how can you help? Try not to go into the interview blind; you’ll look unprofessional and unprepared.
  • Breezing past the Q & A. The recruiting manager wants to know you’re passionate and interested. The best way to show this is by asking questions. So, after you do your research, have a few prepared. It’s also a good idea to bring a pad and pen with you to your interview, so you can jot questions down while the interviewer is talking. Plan to ask three questions at the end of the interview—which is usually when the hiring manager will ask if you have any.

Looking for your next job?

Check out McGrath Systems. We’ll work with you for a placement in the fields of engineering, light industrial, human resources, IT and administration. To learn more, visit our job search page or contact one of our experienced recruiters.  

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