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5 Mistakes You Already Make Before the Job Interview

Make sure you don't make these wrong assumptions!

Sure, it’s hard enough trying to get through the actual interview without making a mistake but what about before the interview? While big blunders may not take place until you’re sitting in front of an employer, your attitude, along with the preparation that happens in days leading up to the interview can affect the outcome even before stepping through the door.

1. ASSUMING THEY’VE RESEARCHED YOU You’ve worked very hard creating a resume that speaks to your accomplishments and you’ve peppered your cover letter with strategies on how you can add value to the company, but that doesn’t mean your interviewer has read most of it or even part of it. We’ve heard numerous reports that employers only spend between 6 and 30 seconds looking at resumes so don’t be surprised if your interviewer pulls out your resume, cover letter, blog posts, or anything else attached to your name right there in your interview.

WHAT AM I SAYING? Bring your A-game and be ready to explain your personal brand at a moments notice. Your interviewer doesn’t know you and won’t know you like you know yourself.

2. REHEARSING RUN-OF-THE-MILL QUESTIONS It’s all well and good to ask what the typical work week is like, but how far will asking common questions really get you? Show your interest in the company and get down to the nitty-gritty. Research all the company’s channels including website, social media outlets, what is being said within the industry and in the news, and come up with questions that will really impress your interviewer.

WHAT AM I SAYING? Do your homework. Be observant.

3. YOU’VE SET A TIME LIMIT Don’t assume your interview will take thirty minutes or even an hour. You never know what turn the interview is going to take and you may end up getting passed around to a few different people.

WHAT AM I SAYING? Unless you have to get back to your current job, don’t assume you’ll be in and out within a certain timeframe. We’ve all got things to do but concentrating on the time you’ll spend in the interview is crucial to your success. The last thing you want is to be distracted knowing you have to run to another appointment while still in your first one.

4. NOT BRINGING ENOUGH MATERIALS Imagine this situation: You meet with your interviewer, hand over your resume and all your extra materials (cover letter, business card, writing samples, etc.) and watch as he briefly gives the pile a glance and then places it in his desk. He then stands at the end of the interview and continues to pass you on to another person you didn’t know you’d be meeting with that day. You then enter her office empty handed. Not good.

WHAT AM I SAYING? This goes back to interview basics. Always bring extra copies of your resume, business cards, or any other important materials to interviews.

5. NOT DRESSING FOR COMPANY CULTURE If you know a company’s dress code is business casual, don’t show up to your interview wearing a conservative dress or suit. You want to show the employer that you’re not only qualified to do the job, but that you can also fit in with the company culture. If you aren’t sure about a company’s dress code, email your interviewer or ask the person who called you to set up the interview.

WHAT AM I SAYING? Dress like you’re already part of the company, but whatever you do, don’t wear flip-flops!

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