Less obvious interviewing faux pas

Published July 24, 2015 2:04 pm by LoSasso
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There are countless articles online about how to interview well, and they all cover the obvious tips: don’t be late; ask insightful questions; dress the part. Throughout my career, however, I’ve experienced (some I’ve done myself and some I’ve witnessed) some lesser-known interview faux pas that can cost you a job— even when you’re truly the best candidate!

While I am not a certified HR specialist, I am a public relations manager—and interviewing is essentially doing PR for yourself. So, here are my top four interviewing mistakes to avoid.

1. Arriving earlier than 5 to 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

Arriving early puts unnecessary stress on the person meeting with you to wrap up whatever they are doing and cater to you being early. While some think being early is a good thing, it’s the opposite when you are overly early. 

2. Talking too much.

Get the interviewer to do the majority of the talking. Whoever speaks more in the interview is the person who thinks it went best—so let them win!

3. Saying something because you know it’s what the interviewer wants to hear even when it’s not entirely true.

If you prefer not to travel due to family commitments, don’t tell the interviewer you love traveling and it’s no problem. Or if the job requires a lot of familiarly with Excel and you are only somewhat familiar with it, say so. Honesty is always the best policy and these little things can easily be worked around if you are the right candidate in other aspects.

4. Being overly complimentary about the company and/or its clients. 

While it’s true that you should respect the company you are interviewing with and the work they do, you don’t need to go overboard with the compliments. Companies want you to be enthusiastic about working there, but also realistic in that no company is perfect or has all the answers. You should come to the interview armed with a few examples of what the business could be doing better and how you can help. Obviously this needs to be framed the right way as to not be insulting, but showing you are already thinking about how to make the company a better place or serve its clients better shows leadership and expertise.

Have you committed any of these interview faux pas? What is your biggest pet peeve as an interviewer? Tell us in the comments.