JOB SEARCH / APR. 29, 2015
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Top 10 Ways to Lose a Job Before You Even Get to the Interview

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 You landed the interview for that job – now it’s all smooth sailing, right? Wrong.

Just because an employer calls you in for an interview doesn’t mean she’s going to hire you. Your application materials may have been appealing, but you still have a lot more hoops to jump through before you find yourself gainfully employed. So, ahead of that next interview, shed your sense of bravado, take a nibble of humble pie, and avoid doing these things that can seriously damage your prospects of getting hired.

1. Using your social feeds to post party pics

Your online presence needs to be stellar in order to make the best impression possible. That includes the social media feeds that you thought were "private". You never know when a prospective employer is going to be friends with someone who has access to your full feed – so the best bet is to avoid putting up controversial memes, scantily clad photos of you or photos of you in other potentially compromising situations. A great way to actually view your digital footprint and clean it up would be to use a tool so that potential future employers will not be discouraged by any images etc posted on your social media profiles.

2. Announcing your interview on social media

Here’s another way to really annoy a hiring manager: publicly announcing that you’re going to be interviewing with the company and tag the company. First of all, it’s going to make for some awkward conversations with your friends if you don’t get the job. Second, the fact that there’s a job opening at the company might not be totally public knowledge, and announcing you’re in the running for a certain position might cause some bad blood if any current employees find out. You might be excited, but talk to your friends about it in person, not on social media. When you get the job and you have a formal job offer in hand, that’s the time to announce your exciting news.

3. Not writing down directions to the office

If you show up late to your interview, you’re not going to make a good impression. The employer is not going to care that traffic was bad or that you were late because you lost the address. No excuses. Just be on time.

4. Worse yet, rescheduling

Here’s another good way to waste your – and the employer’s – time. If you agree to an interview time, you better be 100 percent sure that you can make that time. If you have a serious emergency that warrants rescheduling, such as a death in the family, for example, you can try to get another interview, but don’t hold your breath about getting that job. Employers don’t like to be kept waiting.

5. Researching the company

Ahead of any interview, you’d better be spending a good deal of time finding out as much as you can about the company and what your role there will be. If you don’t, you’re going to appear uninterested during the interview, and that’s not going to impress anyone.

6. Thinking of it only as your "backup" job

If you walk into an interview thinking that this is not the job you want, you’re going to come across as less than enthusiastic. Employers want someone who’s happy to be there and who really wants the job – not someone who considers them to be second choice.

7. Fibbing on your résumé

If you lied on your résumé and the employer finds out, he may have called you in for an interview just to catch you in that lie. Don’t fib, lie or otherwise fudge the details on your résumé, as it could definitely come back to bite you.

8. Asking for a recommendation from the wrong person

Maybe you know someone at the company where you want to work – but do you know their reputation? Before you ask a current employee to vet you to the hiring manager, make sure you know what kind of reputation that person has with the company. If they’re on their way out or they’re not well-liked, that recommendation may have the opposite effect than you’d hoped.

9. Being rude to the support staff

Don’t ever walk into a place of business and treat the secretary or receptionist with disdain. Assume that you’re being watched from the minute you arrive and treat everyone you meet with respect and dignity. That’s just a good practice, anyway.

10. Jumping on your phone while you wait

While you’re waiting for your interview, use the time to center yourself and to think about how you’re going to perform during the interview. Don’t make calls, check your Facebook or do any other online tasks. When the person interviewing you comes for you, you need to be ready; it will look really rude to say "just a second" and keep the interviewer waiting while you finish your conversation.

The road to employment might be filled with potholes that can leave you stranded, but by giving the interview your full attention, being enthusiastic, and arriving ready to talk details about the job, you should be well on your way to getting hired.

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