Don’t Do It When Job Interview

Looking for a job is not easy. Even when you land an interview, you only have your foot in the door. To cross the threshold to a new job, the interview must go well.

Most job seekers know the basics of what a hiring manager wants: Dress professionally, bring a copy of your resume, make eye contact, and don’t ask about salary and benefits right away.But it can be just as helpful to know what not to do: Interviewers have some lesser-known pet peeves about job applicants and their actions, and avoiding those can be critical to a successful interview.

Human resources professionals and hiring experts shared a few candidate behaviors they see before, during and after the interview that leave a terrible impression — and that ultimately might cost you the job.

1. Desperate mass job applications
When candidates apply to almost every job available on the careers section of a company website, it immediately sends a “desperation” signal to the hiring manager. You might think you’re showing how versatile you are by applying for every position, but a recruiter views it as a lack of focus, or non-mastery of specific skills.

“Be aware that if you are a jack-of-all-trades, you probably are a master of none,” said Luan Lam, vice president of global talent acquisition at application intelligence company AppDynamics. “You might want to hone in on your best skill set and apply to a maximum of two positions.”

2. Misrepresentation
Recruiters will often automatically dismiss resumes with bad grammar and spelling, and missing information. The only thing worse than a poorly written or incomplete resume is one that looks great until you realize the candidate was exaggerating or misrepresenting certain information on it. Stretching the truth about a position you held, whether by fudging the employment dates or trumping up your job duties or skills, won’t do you any favors when an employer figures out that you lied.

“Nothing frustrates a hiring manager more,” said Jack Hill, director of talent acquisition solutions at human capital management software company PeopleFluent. “They took the time to evaluate you and they think you have the prerequisites to do that job.”

3. Being late to the interview
It is far better to be early and bored than to be late and panicked. Showing up late to a scheduled interview shows recruiters that you are unreliable with your own time management, Luan Lam said. It also implies a lack of respect and consideration for someone else’s time. To avoid running late to an interview, always map out the approximate time it takes to get to your interview location. Allow an extra hour for traffic, parking or delays on public transit.

4. Not looking the part
Everyone says you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it is human nature to do so. You will be judged on how you present yourself during the interview, from the way you talk and your body language, to how you dress.

Business casual has become the new normal at many workplaces throughout the country, but sometimes job seekers take the casual part too far and the business part too lightly, said Jaden Lam, founder of a menswear brand specifically designed for men 5 foot 9 inches (175 centimeters) and shorter.

“Someone who comes in with an oversized shirt, scruffy shoes or pants that aren’t hemmed properly is sending the wrong message no matter what he says in the interview,” he told Business News Daily.

If you don’t know how to dress, ask the recruiter or someone connected to the company. Sloane Barbour, regional director at Jobspring, said to overdress if you’re not sure. If the hiring manager says business casual and you perceive it as jeans and a polo shirt, you may be better off wearing slacks and a button-down unless it’s communicated to you that jeans are appropriate, he said.

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