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Top Ten Interviewing Mistakes

Certainly you want to focus on the positives when you get ready to interview for a job. But being aware of the negatives is important too, because how can you avoid them if you don’t know what they are? According to employment experts, here are ten things mistakes you might make in a job interview –

  1. Be late: Not showing up on time is a big red flag that, in most cases, will crater any chances you had of getting the job. How can you make sure you’re on time? Leave early! If traffic ends up being a breeze and you arrive 15 or even 30 minutes early, just sit in your car for a few moments and reflect on what you plan to say when you meet the hiring manager – then go on up to the department and let everyone see you are the type of person who arrives before she’s needed (not after).
  1. Dress inappropriately: First impressions count, and if you walk into the hiring manager’s office in clothes you normally wear to school or when you’re out on the town with friends, that impression won’t be a good one. Wear business casual or better, and make sure the rest of you is well groomed too. For example, guys, we know the “five o’clock shadow” look is really in now, but for an interview, you want to be clean shaven.
  1. Share inappropriate information: You may have some great stories about how awful your last boss was, but this is not the time to tell them, even if you feel like they put you in a good light. Any negative impressions you express about your last job will just make the hiring manager think you’ll end up with negative impressions about your new job too.
  1. Lie: Even small falsehoods – such as fudging the fact that you’ve been laid off from three jobs by stating it was only two, or claiming a record of involvement in community service when really all you’ve ever done is think about getting involved – can come back to haunt you. Respiratory care is still a relatively small profession, and you never know who the hiring manager might contact to find out more about you.
  1. Swear: People who cuss on a regular basis often have a hard time keeping those words from flying out of their mouths. If that’s you, practice NOT saying words that may be offensive to the hiring manager.
  1. Chew gum or suck on hard candy: Save these treats for the ride home!
  1. Take a call: Turn your phone off or put it on silent the minute you step into the department. Even while you’re waiting for the hiring manager, you don’t want to be yakking on the phone. And you should never, ever take a call during the interview itself. The same goes for text messages and any other alerts you may get – even looking down at your phone for a split second signals that you are more interested in it than you are in the interview.
  1. Ask about money or benefits: The initial interview is a chance for the hiring manager to decide if he is even interested in having you join his department. There will be plenty of time to talk salary and benefits when you get past the first interview.
  1. Say you weren’t really looking for a new job: Even if you really are happy where you’re at now and are only interviewing because a friend on staff recruited you to do so, come into the interview with the attitude that, yes, you do want to join this department.
  1. Be rude or unfriendly to anyone: Of course you’re planning to put your best foot forward when you meet the hiring manager, but you want to do that with everyone you come into contact with in the hospital as well. That woman you snarled at out in the hall when she rushed passed you might just be the assistant department director who will be interviewing you too if you make it past the initial interview.