Unexpectedly Intriguing!
October 14, 2010

Last week, we covered the Top 10 Job Interview Mistakes that IT job applicants made during job interviews that resulted in their being cut from consideration in their potential employers' hiring decisions. This week, we're spreading the net wider to extract all the things that all job seekers should avoid doing during their job interviews, based on a list of Do's and Don'ts assembled by Randall Hansen, the Career Doctor:

  • Don't chew gum during the interview.
  • Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer.
  • Don't have a limp or clammy handshake!
  • Don't fidget or slouch.
  • Don't tell jokes during the interview.
  • Don't smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. And don't smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke.
  • Don't be soft-spoken. A forceful voice projects confidence.
  • Do have a high confidence and energy level, but don't be overly aggressive.
  • Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don't say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Don't ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don't over-answer questions.
  • Do stress your achievements. And don't offer any negative information about yourself.
  • Don't answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give examples.
  • Don't bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
  • Don't respond to an unexpected question with an extended pause or by saying something like, "boy, that's a good question." And do repeat the question out loud or ask for the question to be repeated to give you a little more time to think about an answer. Also, a short pause before responding is okay.
  • Don't answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Don't inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talk until you have an offer.
  • Do ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry. don't ever not ask any questions -- it shows a lack of interest.
  • Do try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with -- or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names. And don't make assumptions about simple names -- was it Jon or John -- get the spelling.

While you might think these things are obvious, apparently, for many jobless job seekers, they weren't!


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