Four Mistakes To Avoid During Your On-Campus (or really any) Interview

We’re getting right to the point today, since we’re in the middle of OCI and you need this information right now!  So here are four mistakes to avoid in an interview:

  1. Being late.  Clearly this one is obvious, but not just for the reasons you immediately think of.  While showing up on time is critical, you can be on time physically and be late mentally.  What I mean is you need to be sharp.  So don’t just wake up in enough time to quickly get ready and arrive in time for the interview.  Get enough sleep, but then wake up early enough so you can be awake for a decent amount of time prior to the interview.
  2. Making a bad first impression.  There are many ways you can do this, including (1) above, but here are a few of the most common:
    1. poor eye contact, both in the greeting and interview itself,
    2. weak handshake – remember it should be firm but don’t break anybody’s hands,
    3. distracting smell – most often from over-scenting (both guys and girls here!),
    4. inappropriate dress and
    5. not smiling – you’d be surprised at the impact a smile can have!
  3. Not being armed with questions.  This is a biggie.  If you don’t come to an interview with enough questions so that you could take up the entire 20 minutes with just your questions and the employer’s answers, you need more questions!  I’ve written about this issue here and here, so check that out for more.
  4. Making it all about you.  It’s great that you are interested in the position and the employer.  It’s great you want to live in the city where they operate.  It’s great that it would be a great experience for you.  And while you do want to convey those things are true, too many candidates go overboard on this and forget about the benefit the employer stands to receive from hiring you.  And this is the most critical element that you should be emphasizing!  Communicating how much you want to help them and help their clients is something candidates simply do not do well, instead making it all about you.  Avoid that if you can!

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