Avoid these five pitfalls to make yourself desirable to hiring managers. First impressions are everything
Mistake #1: You Arrive Late to the Interview
You’ve filled out a great application and your skill set has caught an employer’s attention. The hiring manager calls and leaves a voicemail to set up an interview. Sweet! But, you arrive late to the arrive.
Easy Fix: Plan ahead. Check the weather. Check the traffic. Map the location and give yourself enough time to be 15 - 20 minutes early, which is appropriate. Don't arrive an hour early. It'll make you look like you are desperate or have transportation issues.
Mistake #2: You Look Like a Job Hopper
Take a peek at your application and resume. How long have you stayed at previous jobs? If your employment has been in one- or two-month stretches, that’s a red flag to recruiters. It makes them nervous.
Easy Fix: Leave any jobs that were less than three months off your resume. Of course, if you’re a student, that might be all of your work history. In this case, it’s okay to list short employment stints, which are usually done during the summer months.
Mistake #3: You Act Like You Don’t Want the Job
You scored the interview and you arrived on time. Now, you have to make a good first impression with the hiring manager. Their first question is, why do you want this job? Don't stare back at them blankly.
Easy Fix: Do your homework prior to showing up to the interview. Know something about the company history, values, cultures, product or service. Better yet, provide an example on how you personally relate to the company's vision or mission.
Mistake #4: You Appear to be Unfriendly
During the interview, the hiring manager will be asking you a lot of questions and measuring your responses. Don't be defensive, stubborn or unfriendly while providing your answers.
Easy Fix: Smile. Be open, candid and professional. Practice makes perfect. Setup a mock interview with a friend or parent and have them ask you standard interview questions. This will relieve some of the tension, which may be misinterpreted as being unfriendly.