I’m sure you’ve already seen lists on things you’re doing wrong when looking for a new job but a refresher on this topic is always interesting because it’s simply so important. As times change and you hear about people like Brandon Kleinman who created a Facebook album for prospective employers or Alice Lee who made an entire website to get noticed by Instagram you start wondering why are you not scoring your dream job?
Here’s a list of 12 things that are incredibly important to avoid doing before, during and after an interview. This list really could go on forever but these 12 are probably a few of the most crucial ones.
Prior to the Interview
- Randomly Applying for Jobs – It really doesn’t matter how desperate you are. You simply cannot apply for every single job that seems like it’s a good fit because trust me, they all aren’t. Find a job that not only fits in your career path but where you would also be a good fit with the company.
- Having a One Size Fits All Resume – It’s the easiest thing to do: one resume that you can just shoot out to everyone. But remember, you’re not randomly applying for jobs? You must tailor your resume to the needs of your specific prospective employers.
- Ignoring Your Online Presence – Don’t have the time right? Wrong! You not only have to have an online presence, it needs to be updated. Regularly! You’re an expert in your field? Well honestly, that’s great for you but unless you can show that others value your opinion it really doesn’t matter. Not sure how to do it? Download my Social Media Toolkit to Advance Your Career to easily establish your online presence.
- Ignoring Networking – Networking is probably one of the most effective yet difficult ways to score your dream job. Whether you network with people to get a deeper understanding of your prospective employers or do it to get people on social networks to vouch for your expertise you have to connect with people.
- Not Knowing the Company – This point is probably mentioned in every one of the lists which talk about mistakes you’re making during job hunting but that’s because people simply don’t research in detail! It’s not enough to just visit the website now. You must join their social networks and get involved in discussions as well.
- Not Staying with the Times – Don’t think that all this social networking business matters to you because you’ve got 25 years’ experience? Sorry to disappoint you. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your career or are truly experienced…you have to stay with the times. It could be current events, new technology, the latest conferences, anything. You have to know what’s going on now and be involved.
During the Interview
- Looking at your Cell Phone During the Interview – Even if it’s to check the time, don’t do it! Under no circumstances should you be looking at your cellphone. If there’s some sort of emergency, inform the interviewer in advance. Beyond that your attention must be two hundred percent on the interview.
- Showing up to an Interview Early – Even if you’re desperate you don’t arrive early. Of course you don’t arrive late either. A respectable amount is 10 to 15 minutes early. That’s just enough of a respectable buffer.
- Being too Serious/Being too Funny – Moderation is the key to life and definitely for interviews. You’re probably in a long line of interviewees so don’t bore the interviewers to death but don’t be so funny you become obnoxious. I’d normally advise people to be themselves but if you need to tone up/down your personality a bit do it to get the job.
- Bringing a Drink with you to the Interview – I know a lot of people who bring their own coffee or tea to an early morning meeting. Don’t do this for an interview. You’re inviting spills, awkward sipping or just looking weird not drinking it. Have your morning brew before or after your interview…not during.
And a couple last tips..
- Not Following Up After the Interview – You must follow up with interviews. If you’re not sure how to do this the right way, here are 5 actions to take after a job interview.
- Doing Only Job Hunting – Job hunting’s not easy, especially in this day and age. It has the potential to take over your life but don’t let it. During the interview they just might ask you about your interests and if you respond with “I haven’t had time because I’ve been looking for a job”…well, you’ve just marked yourself down.
That’s it and of course there are many more things not to do during job hunting. This list could go on forever. Do you have any pointers you’d like to add to this list? If you’ve made any mistakes in a job search and learned a lesson please share below.