Displaying a positive and friendly disposition is important to making an outstanding first impression, but this is especially true in an interview. Projecting the wrong attitude can reflect poorly on your professionalism, and often times, you may not even realize you’re doing it! Your overall attitude and ability to contribute to the conversation may be indicative of how you’ll behave on a day-to-day basis in the office, so certain behaviors have potential to make or break your interviewer’s impression of you. Before your meeting with a hiring manager, take a moment to review these four behaviors that can hurt your chances of landing the job.
Not engaging in conversation
Whether you’re having a formal interview or meeting quickly over coffee, it’s vital to engage in conversation as a job seeker. Having nothing to add to the conversation can make you appear uninterested and may hinder your chances of moving further along in the interview process. While you may have the skills and experience that the hiring manager is looking for, an inability to fully engage in conversation can compromise a potential opportunity.
Talking negatively about your last job
One of the questions you’re sure to come across in an interview setting is why you’re looking for a new position. While most people have had at least one negative experience with a previous employer, now is not the time to address that. As a result, if you are looking for a new job because you’re unsatisfied with your current position or supervisor, it’s best to frame your negative feelings in a positive light. Discuss how you’ve grown in your current role, the skills you’ve refined, and how you believe you can transfer them into your next position.
Have you ever had to wait a long time for someone to show up to an event? If so, it was probably irritating. As a result, you wouldn’t want to do this to a hiring manager. Being on time illustrates to employers that you’re taking the position, as well as their time, seriously. If you’re planning on going to an interview or meeting, remember to:
- Check traffic/public transportation for delays
- Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early
- Prep your materials the night before (cover letter, resume, pen, keys, etc.)
While we do live in a very busy world full of unforeseeable events, being punctual at all times shows that you’re not only excellent at time management, but that you’re responsible as well.
Not asking questions
Asking relevant and well thought out questions is the best way to demonstrate that you’re interested, engaged, and fully present in the conversation. It’s highly unlikely that a potential employer would extend a job offer to anyone they felt was uninformed about the company or disinterested in the role, so entering an interview with at least two pre-meditated questions is imperative. Asking questions is one of the best ways to start a productive dialogue with your interviewer!