Behavioral Mistakes to Avoid On Your First Job Interview

Practicing your answers until you respond to each question with confidence is a big part of having a successful interview. But even with good answers, there are still plenty of mistakes that can reduce your chance of getting hired. In fact, your interview starts even before you hear the first question, and ends only when you thank the interviewer for his/her time.

Here are several big interview mistakes to avoid:

  • Arriving to the Interview Late: Arriving late for the job interview is enough for most employers to eliminate you as a candidate. Avoid this by planning your transportation ahead of time so that you’ll make it to the interview at least 10 minutes early.
  • Turn off Your Cell Phone: You should turn off your cell phone right before you go into the office. That way, you won’t have to worry about any embarrassing disruptions during the interview.
  • Dress Professionally: Dressing too casual gives employers the impression that you’re not serious about the job. But if you dress in at least business attire, you’ll eliminate any chance of making a bad first impression (at least appearance-wise).
  • Shake Hands Firmly: From the moment you’re greeted in the meeting room to the moment your interviewer(s) sit down, always introduce yourself with a smile and shakes hands firmly. If you fail to shake hands firmly or don’t shake at all, it can be seen as disrespectful.
  • Watch Your Body Language: During the interview, your interviewer won’t just be paying attention to your answers, but your body language. So during the interview, make sure you sit straight, look your interviewer in the eyes, and don’t fidget with anything in your hands. Otherwise you’ll give the impression you’re not confident or can’t focus properly.
  • Answer Questions with Confidence: As long as you prepared well for the interview, you’ll be able to answer questions with confidence. But if you get asked a question you didn’t prepare for, don’t panic or get flustered. Instead, take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and give a sincere answer that relates how hiring you will benefit the company.
  • Don’t Forget to Thank Your Interviewer: After your interview, you should smile, address your interviewer(s) by name, shake hands, and say thank you. If you want to make an even better impression, send your interviewer(s) a letter thanking them for the interviewer – email is good but a posted letter will definitely stand out.