It’s true that you stand a better chance of getting the manager to notice you if you have a powerful CV, cover letter and online presence; however, all these count to nothing if you don’t ace the interview.
I know that you probably don’t need any more pressure and that interviews are stressful enough, but the truth is that the interview is your chance to wow the hiring manager, so you should definitely look out for these five red flags.
1. Bad Communication Skills
The interview is probably your one and only chance to actually talk to the employer, so you should take full advantage of this opportunity. I know that you’re probably going to be nervous and this might deter your excellent verbal skills, but you shouldn’t allow your anxiety to get in the way of impressing the hiring manager.
I don’t want to stress you with advice such as don’t talk too much or don’t talk too little, but the key is to keep it casual.
2. Your Appearance
Showing up to an interview and not being dressed the part is a definite red flag. While most candidates fall into the trap of being underdressed, i.e. they’re not dressed professionally or they’re not neat and tidy, it’s just as important to not overdress.
You might think it’s silly, but if you’ve gone for an interview in a marketing firm where they dress a little more casually and you’ve shown up with a tweed jacket, a bowtie and a briefcase which make you look like you’re 100 years old, then the hiring manager will definitely think twice about even considering making you a job offer.
That doesn’t mean that you should put on your flip flops, either; just go for a smart casual look. If you’re uncertain what the dress code is, put on your spy coat and do some spying. Stalk the place one morning or afternoon to see what people wear before you go in for your interview.
3. Obsessed with Money
I once heard a story about a candidate that was contacted for an interview after sending in his CV: he thanked the HR lady for asking him to come for the interview and then proceeded to ask what the job pays because he didn’t want to waste his time.
While our lives would definitely be much easier if we knew what each job paid before the interview, it’s definitely not appropriate to ask. And it’s definitely inappropriate to be the one to bring up the subject, especially if it’s too early in the interview.
You should also remember that if you’re the first one to start talking about money, you put yourself at a disadvantage. The hiring manager will definitely seize the opportunity to ask what your desired salary is, and there’s a slim chance you’re going to be able to avoid that question then.
If you’ve received more job offers, you’re probably going to think you have this one in the bag, too, but that might not be the case. While they might be more positive if they know that other companies want you, if you boast too much about it, they might shy away from you.
Only tell them about other job offers if they ask or if you need to give them a deadline for when they can get back to you seeing that you need to give your answer to the other company. Be humble about it, and explain that the only reason you’re at that interview room with them is because you’d really love to work for them; otherwise, they might think you’re doing it to see if you can get more out of them than the other company.
5. Not Bothered with Doing Their Homework
Hiring managers expect you to come prepared. If you don’t bother with doing some research on the company and what they do beforehand, then the chances that they are going to sit down and explain it to you are slim.
You need to come prepared so that you can ask smart questions and have an engaging conversation with the hiring manager; the more interested you appear to be for their company, the easier it will be for the hiring manager to trust and like you.
Interviews are nothing you should be too frightened of. As long as you’ve come prepared, the hiring manager will be impressed by you. In order to augment your chances of being liked by the hiring manager, make sure that you don’t fall in the trap of these five red flags.
Have we missed anything? Should you look out for anything else at an interview? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!