Are you making some big mistakes on your interviews?

Everyone makes mistakes, right? But you may not be aware of some of the interview mistakes that may cost you a job offer! So what makes employers crazy? Here are some of the top responses that consistently pop up in surveys as well as from recruiter feedback: Being late for the interview (with no good reason); poor personal appearance;  overly scented perfume or poor hygiene; distracting jewelry (jangling bracelets, overly fancy jewelry in the workplace, or too many piercings); untidy facial hair; overbearing personality or a “know it all.”;  inability to express oneself clearly; poor grammar; over- emphasis on money or benefits not the job; bad-mouthing a former employer; no eye contact; expressing that one wants the job just for a short time; knowing nothing about the company; asking no questions about the job; poor listening skills.


Review these top items and see if there are areas you need to work on, such as:

  • Are you offending an interviewer with your perfume? Most recruiters will tell you not to use perfume at all, since so many people have allergies or just may have different tastes on what scents are pleasing.
  • Have you done your homework in preparing for the interview? You can read the company website, google press reports or business journals, or dig for information from someone you may know who already works there. If a recruiter is sending you for an interview, ask the recruiter for any info about the company or the position.
  •  Check out your mode of dress and jewelry in relation to their culture – are beards or facial piercings acceptable or frowned upon? Is business casual appropriate in that environment?
  • Are you asking about company benefits at the beginning of the interview? Try to focus on understanding the job itself and emphasizing your enthusiastic interest in the position. Let them hear what you learned about the company from your research and why you are so interested in working there.
  • Be sure you leave the interview on a note that highlights your skills and how you are going to add value.  Ask questions you have about the job, the department, the company, and of course, then feel free to ask a about the benefits and the potential salary range.

Are you recharged for fall?

Summer’s over and perhaps you took some time off to enjoy those last few weeks of August. Labor Day has passed, fall is in the air, and you are feeling the pressure of renewing your job search, but you are having trouble getting started. How to recharge your search? Well, starting at the beginning is always a good place!

♦ First, sit down and evaluate your job target – what is it that you are going after? Are you seeing jobs available in this area when you search job ads? Is this still what you want?
♦ Next, review your resume. Does it reflect the skills and experience you have related to this job target? If not, update that resume to market you more effectively to employers.
♦ Set up an action plan to get started. Put the plan in writing with target dates next to each of your goals. Your plan should include renewing contacts, building your network, and researching companies where you may want to work. Commit to spending time each day conducting your search.
♦ Get your resume out there. Get posted on key job boards (monster, hotjobs, careerbuilders, etc.) Find reputable recruiters who are actively filling the types of positions that you are seeking and get your resume to them.
♦ See if there are any professional associations in your line of work. These are great for professional development and for growing your network. Many have job boards for members only and some have support groups for those in transition.
♦ Keep track of your efforts. Get organized through a notebook, spreadsheet, or software program – whatever works for you. Be sure to follow up with anyone with whom you have made contact
♦ Treat yourself. A reward at the end each week can be a nice incentive to stay “charged” – whether it’s a new book, a manicure, or an ice cream!
♦ Review & modify. Go back and see if you are on track with your plans and target dates. Is anything in the way? Have any of your goals or wants changed? See if you need to modify your plan.

Having a new plan in place, with ambitious yet reasonable goals is a great first step to recharging for fall and reaching your goals!